Monday, March 28, 2011
The Arizona Department of Health Services released the final draft of the medical marijuana rules today.
According to the final draft, those who qualify for a medical marijuana patient card can begin registering for cards on April 14 online. ADHS will only accept online applications, no walk-ins. Before submitting an online application, the patient has to have a written certification from a doctor they have a patient-physician relationship with a medical doc, osteopath, or even a naturopath or homeopath. Once you qualify, you can get up to 2.5 ounces of pot in a 14-day period from a dispensary. If there isn't a dispensary in your area, a designated caregivers can grow marijuana for the patient's use—as long as there is no dispensary within 25 miles of the patient's house.
Yes, there are still fees, and they remain pretty steep—$150 for an initial ID card, although some patients may qualify for a $75 card fee if they participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. There is a $200 fee for a designated caregiver card. If you want to become a dispensary agent, you need a $500 fee for a qualifying card and $5,000 for a dispensary registration certificate.
Things to think about right after you go out and get your card ... the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not:
Authorize a person to undertake any task under the influence of marijuana that constitutes negligence or professional malpractice.
Authorize possessing or using medical marijuana on a school bus, on the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or high school, or in a correctional facility.
Authorize smoking marijuana on public transportation or in a public place. Authorize operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.
A registered qualifying patient will not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of marijuana in the person's system that appears in a concentration insufficient to cause impairment.
Require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana.
Require an owner of private property to allow the use of marijuana on that property.
Require an employer to allow the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace.
Prevent a nursing care or other residential or inpatient healthcare facility from adopting reasonable restrictions on the provision, storage and use of marijuana by residents or patients.