California medical marijuana recommendation provides legal immunity in Arizona, court rules

PHOENIX — An Arizona Court of Appeals ruling says a man’s medical marijuana recommendation letter obtained from a physician under California’s medical marijuana law provides the same legal immunity as registry cards issued by Arizona authorities.

The three-judge panel’s decision Thursday upholds a La Paz County Superior Court judge’s dismissal of drug possession charges stemming from a 2016 traffic stop of Stanley Kemmish Jr.

Prosecutors argued that the physician’s letter saying Kemmish would benefit from marijuana medical usage wasn’t the equivalent of Arizona’s state-issued cards, but the Court of Appeals said having the letter meant Kemmish was a “visiting qualifying patient” under the Arizona law.

The ruling described Kemmish as a California resident while La Paz County online court records gave an address in Laveen, which is part of metro Phoenix.

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