Patient Relief. Program Reform. Voter Respect.
Key Messages To Discourage A Re-Vote & Repeal by the Arizona State Legislature
*The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was the third time Arizona voters have endorsed medical marijuana. It passed in 2010, the “best” Republican year since 1994. 2014 is unlikely to be as favorable to the GOP as 2010, strongly suggesting yet another loss for opponents of medical marijuana. Furthermore, a PPP poll released January 14th indicated support for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has increased since passage in 2010, from its narrow victory to a sizeable 59-37 margin today. PPP was recently recognized as one of the most accurate pollsters during the 2012 presidential campaign.
*On a local level this notion of “re-voting” controversial matters was attempted. In 2010 Paradise Valley, Arizona voters narrowly passed the direct election of the Town’s mayor. The mayor was previously appointed by the Town Council. After a contentious mayoral election a majority of the council – opposed to direct election – asked Paradise Valley voters to again consider the measure. They did. And passed it by an even wider margin than the first time. The arrogance of elected officials was a key argument then, and would be in the future should this matter again be subjected to a statewide vote.
*Referring the matter to the ballot in November, 2014 is likely to hurt Arizona Republicans in other ways too. Voters typically unfriendly to the GOP will likely turn out in greater numbers to defend the program, potentially hurting Republicans in close legislative races.
*Based on numerous national polls public opinion appears to be shifting swiftly towards more liberal use of marijuana. The response to denying a well-regulated medical marijuana program may be an unintended consequence—and effort --as took place recently in Washington and Colorado, to completely legalize the use of marijuana.
*Proponents of re-vote and repeal cite supposed conflict with federal law. They are the very same voices who argued passionately in support of SB 1070’s anti-illegal immigration provisions because, they said, the federal government had failed to secure the border and the state should be allowed to take matters into their own hands. Now, they argue just the opposite, deferring to the federal government rather than Arizona voters.
*Ironically, the use of marijuana by Arizona youth since the passage of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is down. (SOURCE?)
*What problems that have occurred with the program are the result of the legal and political challenges by the very people who now use them as an excuse to kill the program. How? As approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act provided a strictly regulated and limited dispensary program. But due to such challenges tens of thousands of people were allowed to grow marijuana in their own homes and so-called “compassion clubs” emerged. They are unregulated, untaxed, unzoned, irresponsible operations that law enforcement has failed to shut down. The problem lies with “clubs,” not dispensaries.
*As of January 18, 2013 Arizona only had three operating dispensaries. Another ten may be open by the end of February. They have reported no problems. The program should be allowed to emerge and evolve as voters envisioned not short-circuited by disrespectful politicians.
*Instead of 2014 any re-vote should be considered for 2016, if at all, and certainly after the regulated, voter approved measure has had a chance to operate.
*In the meantime there are several steps the Arizona Legislature can and should take to advance reform, not repeal. They include:
-As the Arizona Department of Health Services sanctioned dispensaries themselves are doing, call for and compel the end of the unregulated and irresponsible “clubs” that are problematic. They were not provided for in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
-To the extent additional resources are necessary for such enforcement action permit the Arizona Department of Health Services to use money – or assign such dollars and authority – for this purpose.
-An Arizona Attorney General opinion provided for the taxing of medical marijuana. The Arizona State Legislature should pass a uniform tax policy that could lead to some $40 million in new revenue for the State of Arizona.
-Increase criminal penalties for patients that provide marijuana to minors.
*The abuses of the “clubs” should not shut down the voter-approved rights of legitimates patients – and there are many – who are safely and responsibly using the state system for pain relief and ailments.
Last Thursday Jan the 24th in Phoenix AZ. A public relations firm (Rose +Moser + Allyn Public & Online Relations) hired by the same people that brought us the 25 mile rule asked the AZ. Legislator to shut down all the wellness/care center in the state to protect their monopoly.
They want to use the funds that we the patients have paid to AZDH MMJ program to enforce these monopolies.
These greedy dispensary owner also want to create a new tax to strap on the patients back. They want to raise 40 million a year which at present count would amount 1200.00 a year per patient.
If you see anything labeled Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Medical Marijuana Patients please be cautious, this is just a front for dispensary owners to hide behind.
One, Ken Sobel of Green Halo, “Ken Sobel says he plans to set up his dispensary at the same location where the Green Halo Caregiver Collective was raided by Tucson Police in July for it's allegedly illegal pot shop operations. http://www.kvoa.com/videos/marijuana-dispensary-owners-prepare-to-open/
has now got a permit from the state and seems to have forgot where he came from. At first he was one of these clubs and now he is on the band wagon to shut them down and tax us to death. This is on top of the outrageous prices they are already charging ( 20.00 a gram or 560.00 an Oz).
Does Mr. Smith Still approve????????
I was there yesterday, picked up some ointment for Arthritis. It seems to help with the joint pain for $40. bucks you hope it does. The candy didn't seem to do much of any thing.
I hope they can make a go of it and stay in business....it's a 65 mile round trip for me, but I prefer it stays that way.
The Green Halo is legal... and the meds are tested! Safe access for patients and a friendly, educated staff!!
Victory is in the eye of the...lol;)
"old person" that's me. Been tokin' since long before the age of consent. Legalization? U Bet!
If this 'legislator' succeeds in getting this on the ballot, do we citizens have to pay the cost of television ads supporting it?
tucsonmedicalmarijuana.org...join us today!
Hey, hey, hey....as an "old person" (and 38 year toker), I favor mj legalization. Don't 'boo' me.
Check it out today 1/16/13 You will be surprised!!
The war on drugs has been a collossal failure since the beginning. But as long as drug money continures flowing into the budgets of law enforcement, little will change. There is more pursuit of the money than the actual drugs.
For those who call for more taxes on marijuana, are you really that impressed with how all the taxes already imposed are spent? Alcohol taxes were imposed to pay for the revolutionary war, don't you think that should have been paid off long ago?
the nameless lawmaker must be in the pay of the Mexican drug cartels. there is no other reason for his action.
As I have stated before; legalize pot and banish firearms. The world could just float on by with little or no violence. Snack your way to diabetes and obesity.
Too much taxpayer money goes toward the war on drugs - America has clearly lost the war now it is time to tax it like alcohol and cigs
3 cups tea good book
I'd think it's also time for a referendum on the War on Drugs, in the form of a citizens' initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession for personal use. I don't use it, but I have a stake in the overall fiscal health of Arizona's economy and state and local governments. Decriminalization is a HUGE win waiting to happen.
To Lisa: Really?
To AZ Willie: You don't check out this site regularly, do ya?
To Bob: Fuck yeah!
To Old man: Read the comment above.
To PVK: Never
To April: Fuckin' eh fuck yeah fuckety fuck!
To Mr. Smith: Please keep fighting the good fight. Somebody has to, and believe me, you do it quite well. Cheers my brother.
Ask me how many fucks I give that someone can't handle the word Fuck...not a one...no fucks will be given! Its called free speech buddy and if you can't handle it, move on...but for those of us who can handle it, I applaud you J.M. on another fabulously written article!
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