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30 Facts About Arizona’s New Medical Marijuana Law

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator November 15, 2010

    The votes are counted and Arizona’s Prop 203 – the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act – has passed by a margin of 4,341 votes (841,346 YES, 837,005 NO). We’re receiving many calls and emails from people interested in the details of the new law. Here are the highlights of the measure:

    1. The allowable amount of marijuana for patients and caregivers is 2.5 ounces.
    2. IF a patient or caregiver is allowed to cultivate, the limit is 12 plants that must be grown in an “enclosed, locked facility”, defined as “closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area”.
    3. Qualifying conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (like epilespy), and severe and persistent spasms (like multiple sclerosis).
    4. Caregivers must be 21 years old and pass criminal background check for certain felonies.
    5. Caregivers can serve no more than five patients, must keep a card for each one
    6. Caregivers may receive reimbursement for actual expenses – not labor – from their own patients only.
    7. Patients’ and Caregivers’ medical marijuana cards last for one year and will contain their photo, name, address, birthdate, and indication whether medical marijuana is allowed to be cultivated at home.
    8. If the state has not issued a card within 45 days, a copy of the application shall have the same force as the card.
    9. Patients and caregivers may share marijuana with other patients for free, as long as they don’t knowingly cause the patient to exceed 2.5 ounces.
    10. Non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed.
    11. A patient who lives within 25 miles of a dispensary may not cultivate their own medical marijuana.
    12. Patients and caregivers may not possess medical marijuana on a school bus, school, or correctional facility.
    13. Patients may not smoke marijuana on public transportation or in any public place.
    14. Patients may not drive under the influence of marijuana; however, marijuana metabolites shall not be proof of impairment.
    15. Fees for non-profit dispensaries shall not be greater than $5,000 or $1,000 for a renewal license.
    16. Dispensaries must cultivate their own medical marijuana, which they can do onsite or at one separate physical address
    17. Patients and Caregivers may give marijuana to dispensaries, but not for any compensation.
    18. Neither the dispensary nor the cultivation address may be within 500 feet of a school.
    19. There can be no more than one dispensary for every ten pharmacies, except that there can be at least one dispensary in every county.
    20. The cards or recommendations for visiting patients from other medical marijuana states will be recognized in Arizona, but they may not shop at the dispensaries.
    21. Patients in assisted care facilities can be limited to non-smoking methods of use and only in certain areas; however, such facilities are not required to enact these limitations.
    22. Dispensaries must have a single secure entrance, a strong security system, and no medicating is allowed on the premises.
    23. Dispensaries must track patients’ acquisitions to ensure they receive no more than 2.5 ounces from any dispensaries within a fourteen day period.
    24. There shall be a secure, web-based confirmation system accessible by law enforcement and dispensaries, that reveals patients’ and caregivers’ names but not addresses and how much marijuana the patient received from all dispensaries in the past sixty days.
    25. Non-patients cannot be punished for being the vicinity of lawful medical marijuana use by patients or providing paraphernalia to patients.
    26. Schools and landlords cannot discriminate against medical marijuana patients and caregivers, unless they are subject to federal penalty.
    27. Employers cannot discriminate against patients and caregivers and a positive test for marijuana metabolites is not cause for disciplining or terminating a patient.
    28. Medical facilities and treatments, including organ transplants, cannot be denied to patients for their medical marijuana use.
    29. Parental rights of patients cannot be denied solely for their medical marijuana use.

    The full text of the measure can be found at http://stash.norml.org/azmedmj

    242 Responses to “30 Facts About Arizona’s New Medical Marijuana Law”

    1. Jason says:

      Heres a question… I was RECENTLY diagnosed with crohns disease. I have terrible cramping, many ulcers, cronic diarrhea, joint pain, etc etc. I see crohns is most definate qualifying in Arizona, and believe i could qualify. I also learn MMJ puts crohns into.complete remission succesdfully and would like to try over sterroid meds im on… HOWEVER… I fear the loss of my job. I work for the Hualapai Tribe Native Americans who claim they are souverign nation. They claim to NOT recognize AZ Medical ID…. But they also take AZ State tax from my Paycheck. Hmmmmm. How does this work? Also I have only been RECENTLY diagnosed as it was a tough condition to find. I dont have a 12 Month old diagnosis… Just a basic medical history not showing much of anything and a RECENT DIAGNOSIS after a specialist referal and a.colonoscopy endoscoly exam helped reveal. Does it still qualify? Im living a life of hell right now. I dont care about.getting high or.not. I just want to feel good again. I Want to keep my job and just live a notmal life. Im only 30…. Any advice?

    2. Dan says:

      For Jason:
      Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.
      As far as I know, the tribe IS a sovereign nation who makes their own laws. I don’t know about the AZ State tax.
      My advice would be to contact a lawyer to give you the facts. Look online for free or low cost legal aid in your area, just so you can talk about this with an attorney. These legal aid clinics can refer you, and it’s usually free to get questions answered.
      The statement about MMJ putting Crohn’s into complete remission is going a bit far. If it was a cure, it would be available everywhere. I have heard, however, that MMJ can help reduce some symptoms of Crohn’s. It certainly would be worth checking out with a free or low cost lawyer.
      Any doctor authorizing you for a MM card probably won’t need a years worth of medical records. Take what you have, after you find out about the tribe’s laws, to a doctor who does authorizations. They advertise everywhere.
      Remember, just Google legal aid in your part of the state, or at the other end of an 800 number. Good luck!

    3. grandma says:

      My 16 yr old granddaughter has Leukemia ALL and wants a Medical Marijuana Card Is this possible? She can NOT smoke it so what other ways are there to use it?

    4. Dan says:

      Grandma,
      If you have custody of your granddaughter, then you could sign for her card. Those under 18 need a parent or guardian to authorize.
      As far as using MM without smoking:
      She can purchase edibles from a dispensary, or she could purchase the MM, then cook it into any number of tasty dishes, from soup to cakes, etc. There are thousands of recipes available online, or just buy a brownie mix and go from there. I baked 1/8 ounce into a standard brownie mix, and a 1 inch cube of brownie is plenty for me to get relief.
      There are also devices called ‘vaporizers’ that heat the MM without combustion, so there’s no smoke. The user inhales vapor only. My home made vaporizer works fine, but I recently purchased a manufactured unit, and it is in the mail now. Please note that these ‘vaporizers’ are NOT the same as those used for stuffy noses.

    5. Dan says:

      Grandma,
      I had to leave my computer for a bit, but I’m back now, so I will finish my comment.
      Please be advised that adolescents and young adults who use marijuana risk doing damage to their brains. Recent studies have found that using marijuana while the brain is still growing can interfere with the development of synapses, which are the billions of electrical connections that make thought possible. I’m not trying to scare you or anyone else, it’s just that some research should be done ahead of time. Ask her doctors. Look online.
      I use MM several times a week, when my symptoms are particularly bad. But, I’m also a senior citizen. My formal education was completed a long time ago.

    6. Jessie Buesing Jr says:

      I qualify for MMC but I cann’t aford the meds

    7. advocate says:

      Look into getting marijuana that is high in cbd and low in thc for a child, this will have all the benefits without the “high” effect.

    8. chris says:

      i got a DUI, and i’m going on probation very soon. However, if i get a medical marajuana card can i still smoke? or will the government laws provent that from happening due to a regulation or rule? like state and city court laws? … i live in Tucson AZ!

    9. JazzKevin says:

      I’m worried that if I get my AZ MM card, if I apply for a job, they will find I have a card and deny my employment…regardless of any MM is in my system. If applying for a job, I would stop for at least 30 days and pass any screening, but still concerned. any comments or suggestions? Is my concern valid?

    10. Brian Garfield says:

      Kevin (I’m a jazz bassist),

      The law is very clear as to your question. You should look up the entire law at the Sates’ website. In short, it says that NO employer may discriminate against a patient who even tests positive for THC, seeing that it stays in the bloodstream & urine for up to 30 days. However, it is stipulated that no worker can be under the influence of MM while on duty at his/her job. The same goes for driving, but there are no tests being done in the field by police. I use my medicine mostly at night and stay at home.

      I also juice fresh MM leaves, and drink 2-3 liquid oz. twice a day. Using it this way actually gives you about 600 mg of the cbd/cbn medicine that helps us. In comparison, when you smoke or cook it, you only receive about 10 mg of the medicine.

      I hope this helps make you feel more comfortable about getting your card.

    11. Brian Garfield says:

      Footnote to above answer to Kevin:

      I neglected to mention a very important part of the act of juicing/blending. When prepared this way from fresh MM, there is NO psycho active effects. You still get the medicine, but no high at all.

      Best of luck Kevin, and keep jammin’ the jazz!

    12. JazzKevin says:

      Thanks Brian for your input and advicd

    13. John says:

      If you have a medical marijuana card can you still be charged with paraphernalia if you have any type of paraphernalia in your car in Arizona?

    14. 4birds says:

      hello i am a minor with chronic pain and iv been trying to convince my parents to take me to get evaluated for my card but they keep saying all thees bad things about marijuana most of witch arn’t true but they wont lisson to anything i say since as perants they get ultimat control over my life and medical decisions till im 18. Does anyone know a respectable site that they could look at that would answer there questions and concerns or a place were they could talk to someone about it. thank you very much for any help

    15. Dan says:

      4birds,
      There may be some sites out there that state the benefits of marijuana use for the relief of chronic pain. I’m sure that there are just as many that say marijuana use by minors does permanent damage to developing brains. With some more information, perhaps there is a way to help you.
      You say you’re a minor; how old are you?
      Are you seeing a doctor, and have you been diagnosed with a medical condition that causes pain? Are you currently taking any prescribed medications for your pain? If so, perhaps your doctor can discuss with your parents the possible benefits of marijuana use for pain relief.
      But, if you don’t have a current diagnosis of chronic pain, you wouldn’t qualify for a card anyway.

    16. Jose Mojica says:

      I have a question, I supplied and bought the equipment for my designated caregiver from sea of greens in flagstaff, a dated back 8/5/2013. I have receipt for the purchase amount and a handwriting note from the designated caregiver on place of business note for identification of this designated caregiver and resides last of in kachina village growing the plants for up to 12. Downside, it’s been since 8/5/2013 I yet haven’t received my medical marijuana I am entitled to according to legal medical laws listed above this comment on this page I’m posting this information on. Also, designated caregiver mention verbally he referring to being a male was suppose to take a picture of my medical marijuana card? Is there any legal action or remedy to this problem? For example, a refund or the plants I was originally intitled to? Anyone out there can help me resolve this problem of this person? I have further information to exposing this suppose designated caregiver? Including up to location of the growing op. Thank you. In honestly, a medically marijuana patient.

    17. desertgolfman says:

      Are AZ MMJ Caregivers allowed to smoke marijuana?

    18. jr says:

      Will a medical card count for arthritis ??

    19. Anonymous says:

      Hi, Brian Garfeild in a earlier reply noted: “I neglected to mention a very important part of the act of juicing/blending. When prepared this way from fresh MM, there is NO psycho active effects. You still get the medicine, but no high at all. – See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2010/11/15/30-facts-about-arizonas-new-medical-marijuana-law/#sthash.OKbsZhwm.dpuf” But is there any dispensary in norhtern Arizona that can supplie a patient with fresh green cuttings of leaves and other plant parts for a juicing regemine? I have been very ill and my physician is advising it. It looks very promising. But where can I find the fresh materials, as I am sick now and growing my own will take 90 days to be at the right stage for consumption on this manner? Help!?

    20. Alicia Perry says:

      I have been very ill and my physician is proposing putting me on a challenging, intensive program based on juicing raw cannabis daily, in addition to edibles and inhaled medicine for pain and other symptoms. But it is the juicing that has me totally stumped. I am looking for a dispensary or collective to join where I can visit almost daily to collect fresh leaves and other plant components or have cutting delivered… Is this even possible? I desperately hope so. I also of course am going to have to learn to cultivate my own medicine, but learning to grow is a more long term project and I am too compromised to take that on right away. I really need your advice. The Doctors are not allowed to name dispensaries or really give any advice on where to go. Help me solve this mystery and I will be forever grateful!!!

    21. Dani Gurrola says:

      My 4 yr old Daugther has just been diagnosed with Rett syndrome which makes her have constant seizure activity going on in her brain. She just had a EEG done and they said they couldn’t believe she wasn’t having a full on seizure. They gave me a perscription for some seizure medication, after reading the side effects I realized I couldn’t give this to her. Then I got online and started researching. I ran across the Stanley Brothers in Colorado and read about Charlette. I would so love my Daugther to look at me and just say one word. The dr.s tell me the medication they prescribed won’t help and of her problems it will only control seizures. The way I feel is if the Rett syndrome doesn’t kill her the meds will, it runs a high risk for liver damage. Well since she can’t talk or communicate at all I would never know anything was wrong. Needless to say I want to get her on CBD, is there anyway to go about doing this here in tucson? Thank u

    22. Allister Taylor says:

      I live in Tolleson, Arizona. I am 19 years old. I’ve had surgery in my right eye due to a “Mass retina Detachment”. It was kind of fine at first… And, now it’s like everytime I turn too quickly.. I get a stinging sensation in my eye and preventing me from sleeping normally. I have medical records showing that I have had surgery and I have a retina specialist. Is this reason enough to apply for a MMC?

    23. Jp says:

      I have a mmj license from WASHINGTON do I still have to provide medical records for license in az or can I get my license based on already having a license from another state.

      [Editor's note: The state of Arizona has compiled an excellent webpage and FAQ section for medical cannabis.]

    24. Ernest says:

      If I read the law correctly # 18 states that medical place can’t deny you care, is that correct ? If so I know of a place that will let you go and will not treat you if your on mmj

    25. NikkolaiV says:

      I have heard that getting your card imposes certain restrictions on the cardholder, such as the purchase of firearms, and names are put on a watch list. Is this true?

      [Editor's note: Unfortunately there are some civil liberties that are put into jeopardy when medical patients access state-sanctioned medical cannabis, including being in violation of federal laws such that medical cannabis patients can not possess or purchase firearms or ammunition.

      There are no known 'watch lists' regarding medical patients, but a number of states have set up medical patient registries, which patients must be registered in so as to be legal cannabis consumers in their state.]

    26. afgan vet says:

      Can some help with info on gun rights after you get you mmj card in AZ?

    27. Rafael Barrios says:

      I just applied for my mmj card and currently hold a job at state corrections UA’s will start soon.will I have problems with my employer?since I am considered law enforcement?I still have not used mmj and am affraid to loose my job.

    28. Rachel says:

      Hi, i have a question, I have a D.U.I. and only have my license suspended for 90 days. I have to take a drug test to get it back. If I get my card before that, will I not be able to get my license back?

    29. Storm says:

      I see that this is an older thread, but I’m hoping someone can answer a question or two for me. I currently live in a state that does not have MMJ (and most likely will not for quite some time) I am thinking about moving to AZ as I have multiple qualifying issues. My question is: What counties have the least restrictions? For economic reasons I need to grow, I see that to do that you must live more than 25miles from a dispensary. Which areas would be best for this? Thanks for any insight you can offer.

    30. Angei says:

      Hi I have a few questions. I have a friend who is a caregiver and got randomly tested at her job. If the result were positive for thc, other than getting fired, will she have that on her record permanently? Will she have to pay fine for it? Is it more or less equivalent to DUI? How likely will she be able to get a job in medical field again?
      Thanks!

    31. John says:

      Look, at the most you lose your job and find another. While drinking, the only way to get a dui is to get behind the wheel. Same goes with mj. Unless the medical field works differently, it is illegal for your company to tell a potential employer anything other than the great you used to work there. You are way too paranoid, and don’t know enough to be putting your livelihood at risk by smoking. Stay off the green lady, it’s not doing you any good.

    32. John says:

      Rafael, law enforcement has zero tolerance policy with anything on the federal drug schedule. I recommend honesty in this case. Ask them what the policy is, or get the policy info from them and read read read. Otherwise, dude, Your working with criminals at a detention facility. You need to stay of the stuff and be sharp as a tac, always. I have lots of family in law enforcement. 4 generations. They were undercover, a high ranking officer in la county, and my cousin is currently in doc. Just stay of it. If it’s really important to use the medication, find another career.

    33. clay says:

      Now I’m told by the state of arizona that the 25 miles is radius not road miles I thought miles is recorded on the ground

    34. Mr. Barry Keaveney says:

      I LIVE IN HUD FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED HOUSING….And even though this article and AZ law says; “Schools and landlords cannot discriminate against medical marijuana patients and caregivers, unless they are subject to federal penalty.” — My lease says: “use of an illegal controlled substance (as defined by local, State or Federal law) is an illegal act…a material lease violation” — humm….although it does say there would have to be a conviction in a court.

    35. Cierra Nicole Heath says:

      ok so im from cali and i want to move to arizona. i have a card
      here for ptsd and anger problems. i don’t take pills cuz as a teen i was on alot of meds. can i still get a card if i move there?

      [Editor's note: Your status in CA if proven to AZ authorities will exempt you from arrest and prosecution in AZ, but, to become a lawful patient (ie, have retail access to medical cannabis) one must become a resident and have an in-state recommendation from a physician/register with the state, pay fees, etc...]

    36. Anonymous says:

      I am 19 years old, i live on my own and i have a car payment, rent, phone bill ect ect and i can not 280 – 560 $$$ for one oz of cannabis!!! that is just insane! there are hundreds of these dispensaries popping up all over Arizona, and you cant cultivate if you live within 25 miles??? how am i suposed to get my medicine? is there any way to get a cultivation card if you live within the 25 mile mark?

    37. anonymous says:

      My question is my PCP didn’t have a problem with MMJ. he actually recommended getting the card and gave me the diagnosis to bring to qualify, so I did and got my card about 9 months ago, I have several conditions that allow me to qualify, last month I saw my PCP and was told I had to stop or he would stop prescribing me my anxiety/seizure meds(which is a benzodiazapine-CIV), I’ve been on a high dose of those meds for over 12 years and the MMJ was literally controlling/relieving 90% of my symptoms and issues, he will only tell me that it’s not his choice but he would be forced to drop me, now I’m in agony and have nothing to replace it, it cost a small fortune to get the card but was well worth it, but I’m super scared to be dropped off the seizure med cold turkey, I’ve done it before and have ended up hospitalized about 6 times, sometimes for 2 weeks at a time, it is out of my system now but I wanna taper off the seizure med and that was the only thing that helped, it seems to be a catch 22, I don’t know what to do but with it I had a quality of life of about a 7+ on a scale of 1-10, 10 being feeling the best, now I feel like I have no quality of life at all, a 1.5 on a really good day, I stopped showering, shaving, and barely am able to leave my house but yet it states in prop 203 that I can’t be denied health care, even organ transplants, if I have a registered state legal MMJ card which I do, but I’m told I will be dropped from the practice if THC shows in my Urine, it was ok for 9 months, why now? I did have a drug screen only one time in that period and it was last month and THC showed up, obviously, and I got no explanation, my PCP said “The state didn’t come through, I don’t have a problem with it at all, you’re preaching to the choir”, What should I do, does anyone have advice? My life is hell now, it really helped me THAT much without any adverse side effects! Is it worth risking the withdrawl of the pills, which is compared to alcohol withdrawal but even worse and can cause brain damage, seizures and even death, or live day to day hoping that each day will be my last so the suffering will end when i could just take a few puffs off a pipe and be totally fine?

    38. citizenbfk says:

      Sorry for your suffering (above). But nobody can tell you what to do. It’s your life, your health and you have to decide. — Offhand, have you tried looking for another PCP?

    39. Anonymous says:

      Yo, 19 yr old. You got an extra room to rent. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, 23 years old. Live in MO, need to move to a MMJ state.

    40. Anonymous says:

      Can a Medical Marijuana patient be denied entry into law school?

    41. Eric G says:

      Does anybody know if I am allowed to get my medical marijuana card at age 17 with parent permission. I have really bad seizures and chronic pains in my ankle and want to know this?

    42. Jaden H. says:

      Hello, I have some questions from this. I’m 16 and have scoliosis. The curvature according to my doctor is at a 36 degree angle and I have been suffering a lot from chronic upper back pain, I’ve been prescribed Fentanyl but all it does is just make me nauseous. It does stop the pain, however, the nausea just makes it almost not worth it. If I’m able to convince my parents, where do I get the forms from? Do they come from the doctor or does the state send them to you? Also, (Since I don’t want smoke in my lungs) would vaping be a better alternative than juicing or mixing it into a recipe?

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