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

    275 responses to “30 Facts About Arizona’s New Medical Marijuana Law”

    1. Anonymous says:

      not being able to grow your own if your within 25 miles of a dispensary is a lil harsh. 25 miles is a long way, no car, disabled… what then? better something than nothing i guess.

    2. toker says:

      not being able to grow your own if your within 25 miles of a dispensary is a lil harsh. 25 miles is a long way, no car, disabled… what then? better something than nothing i guess.

      [Russ responds: I guess you’ll have to hope Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, etc. all have excellent bus service that caters to the handicapped. And that dispensaries pack their products in smell-proof containers, so the friendly fellows who congregate near transportation depots don’t decide to mug you for your medicine. I know in Portland that the severely disabled can get door-to-door public transit service.]

    3. wash-voter says:

      Congrats Arizona. Lets hope that after voting for it 3 times now you can finally implement it. Washington State legalized marijuana over 10 years ago for patients. During that time not one patient has died from an overdose. Can you say that about any other Narcotic on the scedule 1 list?

    4. JC says:

      Thanks again to all who help this cause along, as someone who has witnessed family members suffer who may have been helped with laws like this I feel good for this one, more work ahead for the rest of the people who need it for medicine, and the recreation and Hemp folks as well!

    5. Voice of the resistance says:

      If while taking this medication you experience any of the folling symptoms, sudden loss of hearing or vision, an erection that lasts more then four hours, hair growing on the palms of your hands, or thoughts of suicide. If your tongue turns green, or you develop pimples on your ass discontinue taking this medication and call a health care professional right away! Side effects may include a sudden craving for deep fried beef and cheese burritos or the apperance of heavily armed law enforcement personal. Thank you.

    6. Longwinder says:

      Latest video: Old man tortured and dragged on streets Liveleak – Current Event (Featured)

      By salmakh84 | 185 Comments
      17895 Views | 5 Votes | 0 Recommendations
      Leaked: 8 hours ago
      More evidence of shameless Pakistani Army tactics, they are worse than animals These american sponsored mercenaries are killing their own people!

      Today’s liveleak http://www.liveleak.com/ in a clip posted today & verbally as above states Pakistan is
      ” killing its own people ” .
      Well what do you think America and Mexico is doing over
      its war on its own people because of Marijuana ?!!
      We are worse than animals because of this Countries tactics on this drug war .

    7. Anonymous says:

      how severe and how chronic does pain need to be to be considered severe and chronic?

    8. phatt budz says:

      i live in az and turn 18 soon… “doctor i cant sleep i need reefer”

      [Russ responds: That’s not going to work. Arizona will be much tougher to get a medical marijuana card than California.]

    9. Sam Smith says:

      Number 4. What might those “certain felonies” be???

      [Russ responds: Drug trafficking and violent felonies, with certain conditions. See the text of the law for details at http://stash.norml.org/azmedmj%5D

    10. Paul says:

      The dope dealers win again. They are crafty.

      Here’s all you need to get your license to get stoned. If you are already suffering from the really serious stuff and like to get high, well now’s your chance to do it legal. You’ve been getting high regularly up to now, but now you can do it legally. But if you just like to get high and don’t want to suffer from a terminal illness, then you just go to a friendly doctor, plunk down your large bills and say, “Hey doc, I’m suffering from (ahem) ‘severe nausea’ and/or ‘chronic pain'” and the friendly doctor (There are so many of them, ask any prescription drug addict.) will say, “Wow, what you need is some of that medical grade pot to ease the burden of your affliction.” He gives you your license and you go back to your video games.

      The illusion of strict accounting for the plants is pretty thin. There is absolutely no way to tell where the stuff coming from and most of it will be coming from people who are selling it on the street as well. Dope dealers and their distributors who have been monopolizing the game from the beginning.

      11.Non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed.

      They ought to be mandatory. It’s all about black market profits. What are they prices going to be? The stuff ought to be given away. For free. What? You wouldn’t give away some leaves and flowers of some plant to a cancer patient? Shame on you.

      12.A patient who lives within 25 miles of a dispensary may not cultivate their own medical marijuana.

      Sure, another clue to this dope dealer’s delight. You wouldn’t want a patient stepping on some gangster’s turf by growing it themselves. What would all the rest of the local pot smokers without the friendly doctor do? They might start growing it themselves too.

      And what the heck is this?

      20.There can be no more than one dispensary for every ten pharmacies, except that there can be at least one dispensary in every county.

      What kind of pointless gibberish is that? What do pharmacies have to do with “medical marijuana” dispensaries?

      Legalization is coming and when it does, all this will be an even bigger embarrasement then the “prescriptions” given out for alcohol during the prohibition of alcohol.


      “Because of this established belief that liquor could cure and prevent a variety of ailments, doctors were still able to prescribe liquor to patients on a specially designed government prescription form that could be filled at any pharmacy. When medicinal whiskey stocks were low the government would increase its production. A significant amount of the prescription alcohol supplies were diverted from their intended destinations by bootleggers and corrupt individuals during prohibition.

      Churches and clergy had a provision as well, which allowed them to receive wine for sacrament. This also led to corruption, as there are many accounts of people certifying themselves as ministers and rabbis in order to obtain and distribute large quantities of sacramental wine.”

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