Medical Marijuana Policy Hearing in Tempe Draws Large Crowd

Categories: Marijuana Biz


mmj hearing 3 yuhas.jpg
Image: Ray Stern
Joe Yuhas of Riester public relations and a spokesman for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, was among the first to speak at today's hearing on medical marijuana.
​It's standing-room only here at the state-sponsored public hearing on medical marijuana at Arizona State University.

Looks like at least 400 people showed up, cramming into all the chairs and lining up along the back wall of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law's Great Hall in Tempe. This is just one of four hearings scheduled this week by the state Department of Health Services, which is charged with developing rules and regulations for medical marijuana retail outlets and cultivation facilities.

The DHS published its second draft of rules on January 31, and will review input from these hearings as well as letters and e-mails about the rules. The final draft of rules is due March 28.

People interested in owning a dispensary are well-represented, along with lots of folks who just want to throw in their two buds' worth of opinion.

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Image: Ray Stern
People packed a hall at ASU today to speak about the proposed rules for Arizona's medical marijuana system

It doesn't look like any time limits are being placed on the speakers, and this could be a problem considering the long line of hopeful speakers. Audience participation is high, with lots of applause following statements about the use or growing of marijuana and the desire for a robust medical pot system.

So far, the five DHS representatives at the front of the room are listening patiently to the first few speakers; we imagine that could change as the hearing goes on. It started at 3:30 p.m. and is scheduled to run till 6:30 p.m.

One guy just asked the crowd who was "for" medical marijuana -- most people raised a hand.

We'll update shortly and let you know what people are saying...

Click here for Part One of our live-blogging of comments, and here for Part Two.

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Charles Ward
Charles Ward

I was there. Seemed to me like the DoHS people handled things pretty well given the great gulf between their stance and those of the overwhelming majority of those present. The crowd was large, I think maybe larger than the estimate due to crowding and turn-over. I really had thought there would be more anti-pot zealots there, but if there were many they were mostly keeping mum. This was definitely a pro-cannabis crowd generally.

I have to agree about the suggestion for time limits for speakers Mr. Stern suggests. Some people did ramble on needlessly.

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