At an open debate in March of 2015, Bill Montgomery, the county attorney of Maricopa County, Arizona, argued vehemently against the legalization of marijuana, referring disparagingly to “potheads” who were a “drag on this country.”
Don Ream, a white-haired Vietnam veteran who had helped commission a Navy Explorer, was offended. He explained to Montgomery that he legally used medical marijuana for back pain and admitted to using pot recreationally, but did not appreciate being called a “pothead.”
Perhaps he thought that Montgomery, who brags about his military service in the Gulf War, would understand.
Instead Montgomery said, “I have no respect for you. And I have no respect for someone who would try to claim that you served this country and took an oath to uphold the constitution and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, because you’re an enemy.”
The crowd booed.
Later, when confronted by reporters, Montgomery doubled down, calling Ream “an enemy of our constitution,” as if the founding fathers had ideas about cannabis.
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Over the last year, Bill Montgomery has decided that he has an enemy: legal marijuana. Prop 205, which is on the Arizona ballot this fall, would make recreational marijuana legal. (Medical marijuana is already legal in Arizona.) To that end, he has been focused on the issue to the apparent exclusion of everything else in his administration. He’s likened vendors at a medical pot expo to “cartel members.” His Twitter feed is filled with anti-marijuana propaganda and scare stories about children who have eaten THC-laced gummy bears. (While anti-marijuana advocates like Montgomery have made much of a JAMA study about kids eating pot, children are much more likely to eat cleaning products, crayons, and cigarettes, all things Montgomery has not suggested banning.) In the same March debate where he insulted a veteran, he also argued that legalization was against the US Constitution and was in opposition to Christianity, which he supported by comparing the promise of legal marijuana with Satan and the apple in the Garden of Eden.