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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

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

    1. This is ridiculous .

      Finger prints , criminal record checked , monitoring , one dispensary for every 10 Pharmacies, submit fingerprints and so on …………..

      Although it’s at least some progress Arizona is still treating patients as if they’re criminals .

      Glad i don’t live there …….

      [Russ responds: I feel ya, but it is really more like they’re treating all of us as criminals, and these requirements are to make sure the patients aren’t dirty dope criminals like the rest of us.

      The only way you cure restrictive medical marijuana laws is by legalization for all of us, even the healthy ones.]

    2. David says:

      If dispensaries have to be nonprofit, then how are the operators supposed to make a living?

      [Russ responds: Officers and employees of nonprofits are allowed a reasonable salary.]

      If you aer a caregiver, then is it ok to charge your 5 patients the going rates for medical marijuana?

      [Russ responds: Nope. First of all, as a caregiver, you’re only allowed to grow for your patients that live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary. Say you had five patients and two lived >25m away. You could grow 24 plants – 12 for each of the two – and you could give 2.5 ounces FOR FREE to each of your five patients. Then, as I read it, only your two >25m patients could reimburse you, but then only for your actual expenses in soil, nutrients, lights, buckets, water… but not your labor or anything for the value of the marijuana.

      I’m not certain, however, that you as the caregiver have to live >25m from the dispensary to grow for the patients who do live >25m.]

    3. Must not be convicted of a felony involving drugs………………..well i can understand that .
      ” for certain felonies ” i think what they’re saying that certain felonies would be crimes associated with drug dealing . The law needs to be more defined & spelt out in better context so people can clearly understand it in its entirety . Otherwise patients not knowingly will be breaking the law & could be arrested .

    4. roman says:

      moving forward, good job, Im happy for Arizona.

    5. […] NORML, in typical NORML fashion, give you 30 thorough quickfacts about Arizona’s new law. Some highlights: 3. Qualifying conditions: cancer, glaucoma, […]

    6. jon ganj-ovi says:

      re; 9. Patients and caregivers must submit fingerprints to law enforcement and sign a statement that they will not divert marijuana to non-patients.

      1. IS THIS REQUIRED FOR PRESCRIPTION PILLS ??

      [Russ: Not that I am aware of.]

      2. so if there is a REAL crime to investigate, (like murder) will the pigs be able to use this database ?? or is it just for pot ??

      [Russ: To my knowledge, pigs, hogs, and other swine lack the dexterity and brain capacity to operate databases. However, the FBI does not… this is from the law:

      THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY MAY EXCHANGE THIS FINGERPRINT DATA WITH THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION WITHOUT DISCLOSING THAT THE RECORDS CHECK IS RELATED TO THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT AND ACTS PERMITTED BY IT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DESTROY EACH SET OF FINGERPRINTS AFTER THE CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK IS COMPLETED.]

      RE; 24. Dispensaries must track patients’ acquisitions to ensure they receive no more than 2.5 ounces from any dispensaries within a fourteen day period.
      25. 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.

      wow, that is SUPER RESTRICTIVE, and sounds very expensive and complicated to set up !!
      (no wonder it almost did not pass, it is almost worse than the status quo)

      so every dispensory must track the sales of EVERY OTHER DISPENSORY ??

      SO IF ONE DISPENSORY does not share data, can ANOTHER DISPENSORY BE CHARGED WITH VIOLATING THE LIMIT ??

      if i buy the maximum at ONE DISPENSORY, then buy more at ANOTHER DISPENSORY, with a fake i.d., is the DISPENSORY safe or liable ??

      [Russ: it seems as if there will be a central database that every dispensary will have to be a part of, submitting patient purchases in real time, just to prevent the “dispensary hopping” idea you’ve proposed.]

      how much will it cost for all this unnecessary, over regulation ??

      what about computer error ??

      re; There shall be a secure, web-based confirmation system.

      even banks and gov’t. computers can be, and have been,
      HACKED.
      -this is a well known FACT.
      so not one gram may be sold untill this MYTHICAL, HACK-PROOF, TOTALLY SECURE system is developed and installed.

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

      so you spend lots of $$ to set up your grow, and a new dispensary opens up, you must tear your garden down ??

      [Russ: It seems that way to me. I could find no language that supported the notion of an existing grow being “grandfathered in” if a new dispensary opens up down the street.]

      re; 19.Neither the dispensary nor the cultivation address may be within 500 feet of a school.

      IS THIS REQUIRED FOR PRESCRIPTION PILLS ??

      re; 17.Dispensaries must cultivate their own medical marijuana, which they can do onsite or at one separate physical address

      so if demand cannot be met, or plants are not ready for harvest, dispensaries cannot buy extra.
      -a perfect plan for sky-high prices.

      re; 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.

      so we voted in a med-pot initiative that SPECIFICALLY insures med-pot will never be able to seriously impact the profitability of prescription drugs.

      GREAT PLAN !! LET’S FUND THE PHARM. COMPANIES, WHO ARE 100% AGAINST US !!

      WHO THE FU*K WRITES THESE STUPID INITIATIVES ??

      [Russ: This initiative was written and vetted by the Marijuana Policy Project.]

      NO WONDER THE PRO-POT PEOPLE VOTE AGAINST THEM.

      P.S. CNN is again doing a ‘non-scientific’ med-pot poll, (text messaqge or go online) and again it is 73% in favor…

    7. chris says:

      say what you will everyone has their opinions but in my case im thrilled this passed. I am already on prescription meds daily and have been for a couple years now. I am diagnosed with scoliosis and have had severe back pain since i was 11 (i am 34 now) the scripts i take are twice a day with a total of 5 pills. i have also out of the blue started throwing up all the time as a result of the pills, they just m,ake me sick and now and then i find blood. So now if i can purchase legal medical marijuana it will reduce the pills i take also relieving the nausea that comes along. I am a productive member of society i pay my taxes and i feel i have a right to health relief no matter how much and to whatever end. and now this will be realized without fear of prosecution, THANK YOU AZ this will make so many lives better

    8. Mabuda says:

      Sounds easier to go to a real doctor and take Oxycontin oxycodone

    9. Bradson says:

      There’s no need for a non-toxic plant with zero deaths from use to be so severely restricted. The problem is that our officials and law enforcement personnel don’t believe these simple, easily demonstrated facts…or dismiss them as irrelevant. Still, I voted for this and am glad it passed. It’s a timid start that can be brought into line with reality as the paranoid fantasies of the prohibitionists fail to materialize.

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