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Bill Montgomery: No financial conflict on marijuana issue

Posted: 4:48 PM, Oct 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-27 02:29:40-04
Montgomery voices opposition to Prop 205
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, one of the most vocal opponents of Proposition 205, will see his budget cut if recreational marijuana is legalized. 
 
A drug diversion program, run by county contractor TASC, annually funnels $1.5 million in fees to the county attorney's office. Marijuana offenders make up 76 percent of the program's participants, according to an MCAO report.
 
First-time offenders who qualify for the program can avoid felony prosecution.
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"This is objectionable at the basest levels because he is prosecuting for profit," said J.P. Holyoak, Chairman of Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona.
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"Allegations that this is a conflict of interest just sound like a desperate campaign coming down to a defeat," Montgomery said. 
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Montgomery's office tells ABC15 the diversion money pays for legitimate administration expenses like prosecutors who review drug case files. The money also funds anti-drug education in the community,
 
"I'd be happy if we received zero dollars because it would mean nobody needed to go into treatment in the first place," Montgomery said.