Arizona prosecutor warns marijuana dispensaries

Arizona prosecutor warns marijuana dispensaries

CREATED Aug 9, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug 9, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says operators of medical marijuana dispensaries that begin operating in the state's most populous county could face criminal prosecution.

Montgomery says he cannot ignore that possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana remain illegal under federal law.

And he says a recent legal opinion by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne makes it clear that key portions of Arizona's medical marijuana law are pre-empted by federal law.

State officials on Tuesday picked 97 applicants to advance in the dispensary licensing process.

Montgomery says those involved with growing marijuana should stop and that his office would review for possible prosecution any cases brought to it by law enforcement.