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Is Medical Marijuana Beneficial?

 

By Tommy Acosta

 

SEDONA, AZ

 

(Oct. 22, 2010) -

On Nov. 2 Arizona voters will decide whether or not to

legalize medical marijuana in the state.

There are strong arguments on both sides concerning Proposition 203,

the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Proponents claim marijuana relieves pain and is a viable

alternative to powerful conventional drugs in treating symptoms

of many diseases and injuries.

Supporters say medical marijuana users should not have to expose

themselves to crime or arrest in acquiring the drug and the state

would save money not having to enforce present laws, trying and

imprisoning such users.

Opponents say the medical value of marijuana has not been

conclusively proven and it can reduce short term memory and slow

the thinking process over an extended time of usage. They believe

legalizing its use in any form sends a bad message to youth

and could lead to the eventual legalization of marijuana for

recreational use as is happening in California.

Opponents also say it will cost the state more money to regulate

the medical use of marijuana than it would save arresting and

prosecuting medical users.

Hoping to get a clearer understanding on how legalizing medical

marijuana affects a state and its citizens we turned to licensed

California medical marijuana provider and distributer Luke Maxwell

for his opinion.

Since 1996 medical marijuana has been legal in California. Maxwell

said he began using medical marijuana at that time for pain management

related to sports-related injuries that left him with a number of

steel pins in his hips and joints. He said because of medical

marijuana he was able to weed himself from powerful pain medications.

"I was in terrible pain and I was addicted to Oxycontin

and Vicodin," he said. "The side effects of these drugs were

terrible. I was constipated, dizzy and nauseous most of the time.

When I started using medical marijuana my symptoms alleviated and

I was able to resume living my life again."

Eventually, he became a legal provider and distributer of medical

marijuana, opening his own dispensary in the state.

"Compassion and Health, the name of our dispensary, is a

licensed-mutual benefit, non-profit corporation medical cannabis

supplier and collective," he said. "Our members have access to safe

and proven cannabis of exceptional quality and purity. No one

needing medical cannabis has to drive into seedy neighborhoods

and risk their lives or being arrested. We provide safe access."

He said people from all walks of life with all kinds of symptoms

including chronic pain, nausea from chemotherapy, loss of appetite,

glaucoma, anxiety, insomnia, depression, migraines,

and wasting syndrome come to his collective. Some are veterans

in wheelchairs.

"As long as they have state-issued Department of Public Health

Medical Marijuana Cards and identification we can provide them

with smokable marijuana, edible marijuana, cannabis beverages,

salves and tinctures," he said. "We also deliver to those who

are home bound."

He said people in Arizona that are worried about legalizing

medical marijuana shouldn't fear because most of the wrinkles

associated with medical marijuana have already been worked out

in California. He said there has been no increase in crimes and

marijuana use has neither increased nor decreased in the state.

 

"Back in 1996 when California first legalized the use of medical

marijuana there was a lot of confusion and bumps in the road,

" he said. "By 2003 when California SB 420 was passed most of

the bumps had been smoothed out. The bill outlined how a medical

cannabis collective should operate legally and compliantly to

provide individuals with the medicine."

He said he believes Arizona will look at California as a model

to follow should Prop 203 pass.

"I've been following Arizona's Prop 203 closely," he said.

"If it passes Arizona will emulate California law. Lawmakers

and authorities will make sure the state does not make the

same mistakes we made in the beginning. State-licensed

physicians will examine patients and they will determine

their eligibility. The state will issue cards. Providers

will operate legally. And those needing medical marijuana

will have safe access."

He said it is the responsibility of adults using medical

marijuana legally not to use it around children or leave

the drug in places where they can find it.

"I have never used medical cannabis around my son while

he was growing up," he said. "Parents can be irresponsible,

especially those who use marijuana for recreational

purposes. Just like prescription drugs and medicines,

it must be kept away from them in places they cannot access.

Responsibility goes hand in hand with the use of medical marijuana."

He said the aging Baby Boomer population and those now in

their late 40s and in their 50s are more amenable to the

legalization of medical marijuana than those who are older.

He said it's only a matter of time and education before

the majority of people no longer view marijuana as the

dangerous drug it was once considered.

"Knowledge is power," he said. "People need to be educated

on medical marijuana that is helping so many people with

ailments today. Let's get real about this. Marijuana is

simply a plant God put on earth. It's been used for

centuries for thousands of purposes. Our founding fathers

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp, a word

that describes male marijuana plants, that was used to make

cloth, sails, ropes and countless other products. Cannabis

is not the scourge some make it out to be and people

are realizing it."

He said he and those his collective serves do not see marijuana

as a Class 1 Drug, as it is considered by the government

and law enforcement.

"It is medicine," he said. "For us it is medicine that helps

us sleep, eat, deal with pain and the effects of chemotherapy.

Our job is to ensure our clients have safe access to their medicine.

We ensure the medical cannabis we provide is pure and chemical free.

We give them many choices on potency and taste as well as the

modality of ingestion. We strive to improve the quality of

life for those we serve. We care. We are compassionate.

 

Visit our Web site at www.compassionandhealth.com and

see for yourself. Arizona has nothing to fear.

 

We look forward to the passage of Proposition 203 in Arizona."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

PHOENIX – 3TV got a first look at one of the places that will be selling marijuana if voters pass Proposition 203, known as Arizona’s medical marijuana initiative.

 

The prescribed pot is not for sale just yet, but Alan Sobol says he hopes his store located near Interstate 17 and Bell Road would be the prototype for other dispensaries in the state.

 

“We want to blend in with the community," Sobol said. "We want it to be a comfortable place, a clinical-based place where people can come here and purchase the medication that they need.”

 

The dispensary also has a classroom where Sobol said people would be required to take a course on patient responsibility before ever purchasing pot.

 

If Proposition 203 passes on Tuesday, the dispensary will be one of 120 across the state. The stores would not be allowed to sell medical marijuana for another four months while the Department of Health finalizes rules for operation.

 

“We have an information center that will provide all kinds of information on how to cook with medical marijuana and how to make other products with it,” Sobol explained.

 

Michael McMullin, who has an inoperable brain tumor, said he is pushing for passage because he owes his life to medical marijuana.

 

The 120 dispensaries have not been chosen yet and if Proposition 203 passes, it will be about a year before any marijuana is sold.

 

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/What-Arizonas-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-might-look-like-106495228.html

 

 

 

i guess the 20 days like we have wont work i hope they have the A.D

 

 

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PHOENIX – 3TV got a first look at one of the places that will be selling marijuana if voters pass Proposition 203, known as Arizona’s medical marijuana initiative.

 

The prescribed pot is not for sale just yet, but Alan Sobol says he hopes his store located near Interstate 17 and Bell Road would be the prototype for other dispensaries in the state.

 

“We want to blend in with the community," Sobol said. "We want it to be a comfortable place, a clinical-based place where people can come here and purchase the medication that they need.”

 

The dispensary also has a classroom where Sobol said people would be required to take a course on patient responsibility before ever purchasing pot.

 

If Proposition 203 passes on Tuesday, the dispensary will be one of 120 across the state. The stores would not be allowed to sell medical marijuana for another four months while the Department of Health finalizes rules for operation.

 

“We have an information center that will provide all kinds of information on how to cook with medical marijuana and how to make other products with it,” Sobol explained.

 

Michael McMullin, who has an inoperable brain tumor, said he is pushing for passage because he owes his life to medical marijuana.

 

The 120 dispensaries have not been chosen yet and if Proposition 203 passes, it will be about a year before any marijuana is sold.

 

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/What-Arizonas-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-might-look-like-106495228.html

 

 

 

i guess the 20 days like we have wont work i hope they have the A.D

Certainly hope this passes. There is absolutely no reason why patients shouldn't be able to choose what they want to put in their bodies.

 

 

Mizerman

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If Proposition 203 passes, Arizonans can get permission from a doctor to use marijuana for medical purposes, including treatment for cancer, chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and other conditions.

 

Before patients can purchase and use the drug, they must register with the Department of Health Services and submit a written statement from a physician "that the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or symptom-relieving benefits," according to the state's election pamphlet.

 

The vote remained neck-and-neck going into the weekend, but the no votes had a lead of about half a percentage point. With all precincts reporting, there were 665,300 votes against and 658,389 votes for the proposition, according to unofficial results.

 

But as of Wednesday, there were still 290,000 ballots remaining to be counted. State law gives counties until Friday to process those early and provisional ballots. Official election results are expected to be certified by Nov. 29.

 

A recount would be required if the margin is less than or equal to either 200 votes or 0.1 percent of the total votes cast for each proposition.

 

Gilbert officials aren't taking anything for granted, however, and the Planning Commission on Wednesday reviewed proposed regulations on where marijuana could be grown, purchased and used.

 

The proposed code amendment would allow for marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites within industrial zoning districts. The facilities would only be allowed in permanent buildings, could not sell other merchandise and must be approved by the state.

 

Cultivation could only take place inside a closed, locked building and not on a farm-style site, zoning administrator Mike Millilo said.

 

The dispensaries and cultivation sites would not be permitted within 1,000 feet of a day-care center, school, public park or place of worship. Smoking would be prohibited at dispensaries.

 

Proposed restrictions would also dictate the facilities' hours of operation, which could not be earlier than 8 a.m. nor later than 6 p.m.

 

Under the new law, Gilbert could have at most five dispensaries within town limits, Millilo said. The law allows one dispensary for every 10 pharmacies, and Gilbert has about 50 pharmacies, he said.

 

The Planning Commission directed town officials to formally initiate the process to add the marijuana restrictions to the land development code. The proposed regulations could come back to the commission for approval on Dec. 1 and would then go before the Town Council on Jan. 13.

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/2010/11/05/20101105gilbert-medical-marijuana-plans.html#ixzz14dHPSpUY

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  • 3 weeks later...

PHOENIX - Someone is pulled over by police on suspicion of DUI-D -- driving under the influence of drugs. They test positive for marijuana, but wait -- they are a medical marijuana patient. What now?

 

It's one of the many dilemmas facing state law enforcement, now that medical marijuana is legal in Arizona.

 

According to a study by the Crancer Research Institute in California, in the five years following the inception of the medical marijuana program in California, fatal traffic accidents involving marijuana dramatically increased.

 

From 2004 to 2008, the study found there were 1,240 fatalities in crashes involving marijuana, compared to 631 fatalities during the prior 5-year period. That's an increase of almost 100 percent.

 

"It's very easy to give misleading stats to make a political point," says Dan Meyers, campaign spokesperson for Arizona's medical marijuana proposition. He says the California study is biased because it fails to mention the high number of drivers in the fatal accidents who also had alcohol in their system.

 

"This was a report put out by an organization that was campaigning against Prop 19, supporting legalization of marijuana in California," he says.

 

Prop 19, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational use, went up in smoke in California and failed to pass. But Prop 203, medical marijuana in Arizona, survived. It squeaked by by 4,300 votes.

 

What about DUI-D -- driving under the influence of drugs? Right now Arizona law has no special provisions for medical marijuana patients. That's a problem, says Meyers, for patients who use medical marijuana even once a month -- because it can stay in their bloodstream for three weeks.

 

"You would not be able to ever drive your vehicle and be tested, because you would be considered under Arizona law to be intoxicated at any time," he says.

 

Alberto Gutier from the Governor's Office for Highway Safety says everyone has concerns about the law, but adds, "The voter has spoken. Now it’s the duty of the state government to implement what the voters passed."

 

He says some provisions must be made for medical marijuana patients in the event they are pulled over for a driving offense. Meyers agrees that some other criteria may have to be established for medical marijuana patients.

 

"They have to demonstrate it was in a concentration sufficient enough to cause impairment or that the individual failed a field sobriety test or was noticeably intoxicated by some other means," says Meyers.

 

"Law enforcement has a way of thinking this may increase some impaired driving on the road, but on the other side, that's something that we have to deal with and it will be dealt with in a way that doesn't target certain people just because they have a prescription for marijuana," says Gutier.

 

The Arizona Department of Health Services has the daunting task of figuring this entire thing out in the months to come -- new rules and new standards on handling medical marijuana.

 

DHS has 120 days to set up the program. They will need to set up a database to track users and dispensaries. They also must draft rules and standards for the program.

 

 

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/only_on_fox/medical-marijuana-dui-d-11-26-2010

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

and the fight is on

 

jUNE 3, 2011

 

Legal Defense Fund Established to Protect the Rights of Arizonans and Suffering Patients Seeking Medical Marijuana

 

Legality of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Law Questioned

Share var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true};SCOTTSDALE – On the heels of a lawsuit filed by the State of Arizona to determine the legality of the recently enacted Medical Marijuana Law, a legal defense fund, Don’t Let Medical Marijuana Die, has been established to protect the will of the voters and guarantee ill patients access to medication that relieves their pain and suffering.

 

The lawsuit, initiated by the Governor and the AZ Attorney General, puts the future of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act in question and leaves sick and dying patients wondering when they will be able to relieve their pain and suffering. At issue in the suit is whether Arizona’s law can legally be enacted even though Federal law continues to make possession and distribution of marijuana illegal. The suit seeks to obtain clarity regarding this seemingly conflicted legal status of medical marijuana laws.

 

Attorney Ryan Hurley leads the Medical Marijuana Division at Scottsdale’s Rose Law Firm. While disappointed about the halt on Arizona’s Medical Marijuana program, he feels the lawsuit will ultimately be decided in favor of patients and states’ rights, “Health care providers and medical marijuana dispensary operators shouldn’t have to worry about federal prosecution for simply trying to treat sick patients. Ill patients should not have to worry about access to medication as they battle HIV, cancer, spinal cord injuries, or multiple sclerosis, just to name a few. Hopefully this fear of prosecution can be put to rest and the legality of State MMJ laws can finally be upheld.”

 

Don’t Let Medical Marijuana Die was formed to protect the rights of Arizonans and protect the dispensaries and health care providers who are simply trying to relieve the pain and suffering of their patients. It’s seeking donations to cover their legal expenses in this vitally important battle. Visit www.dontletmedicalmarijuanadie.com.

 

The Board Members include:

•Dr. Daniel Rubin, Medical Director of Naturopathic Specialists, LLC in Scottsdale, AZ, where he practices full time as a naturopathic oncologist

•State Senator Robert Meza, a 3rd generation Phoenician who sits on many civic boards

•Ari Schafer, President of the Civic Center Pharmacy, a locally and nationally recognized source of custom compounded medications not routinely available through the larger chain stores

•Victor Ostrow, Former General Manager of Rawhide western theme park and a 37 year resident of Arizona. His work in promoting Arizona tourism includes past participation in the Valley of the Sun Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce

 

These individuals have courageously stepped forward to protect the rights of countless Arizonans seeking relief from debilitating pain.

 

Overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2010, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act legalizes medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. 16 other states have done the same.

 

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2011/110601/frontpage-marijuana.html

 

 

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