Governor Brewer Can't Stop Medical Marijuana Under State Law; Qualified Patients Can Legally Possess Drug Without State Approval

Categories: Medical Weed

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Governor Jan Brewer hopes to derail Arizona's voter-approved medical marijuana law, but qualified patients can legally possess weed with or without state approval.

The effort by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne to steamroll voters in their attempted quashing of the new medical marijuana law won't work -- not entirely, anyway.


Qualified patients can possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of weed legally in Arizona since the passage of Prop 203 -- with or without state approval.


That's why Brewer and Horne, two Republicans who are putting politics above the wishes of the electorate, haven't mentioned any plans to stop the state from handing out medical marijuana registration cards.


The smartly written Arizona Medical Marijuana Act anticipated an anti-democratic reaction like the one we saw Tuesday and included a powerful work-around.

Arizona law requires that:


If the department fails to issue a registry identification card within forty-five days of the submission of a valid application or renewal, the registry identification card shall be deemed issued, and a copy of the registry identification card application or renewal is deemed a valid registry identification card.

* update*
Other sources says subsection C may be more applicable:


C. If at any time after the one hundred forty days following the effective date of this chapter the department is not accepting applications or has not promulgated rules allowing qualifying patients to submit applications, a notarized statement by a qualifying patient containing the information required in an application pursuant to section 36-2804.02, subsection A, paragraph 3, together with a written certification issued by a physician within the ninety days immediately preceding the notarized statement, shall be deemed a valid registry identification card.

*back to orig*


Matt Benson, Brewer's spokesman, confirmed that the governor understands this self-enacting part of the law. Though Brewer and Horne have indicated they'll likely direct the Arizona Department of Health Services to put the dispensary program on hold until a federal court rules on the legality of Arizona's program, DHS "will continue issuing those cards as they have been until further notice."

Failing to do that, Benson acknowledges, would create a bit of chaos. Anyone with a copy of a registration card application could legally possess weed, but the state would have no record of them.

Without going into all the hypotheticals of the situation, suffice to say that Arizonans who want to qualify to legally possess marijuana under state law can do so. They can keep appying for and receiving state-approved cards, or, if the state stops taking registration card applications, they can just keep their unapproved applications handy. Prosecutors will still be prohibited from convicting legal medical marijuana patients.

Or small-time growers. Qualified patients could still raise up to five 12 plants each at home, as long as no dispensary opens within 25 miles. Thanks to the way Brewer and Horne are sticking it to voters, no dispensary will open anytime soon.

Now, it's true -- as Benson pointed out to us -- that the state law doesn't protect anyone from federal law. Growing or possessing pot will still be illegal in the eyes of federal law enforcement officials. But for small-time marijuana suspects, that's shouldn't be much of a concern. With relatively few resources, the feds can only target big-time criminals.

Just to bring up a side issue here, is anyone else disturbed at how a scarcity of dispensaries combined with thousands of qualified patients equals more black-market weed sales? By failing to defend the will of the people, Brewer and Horne will boost illegal drug sales. What concerns us most is how the politicians might use this fact to later criticize the program. My gosh, they'll say, look how Prop 203 ended up fueling the cartels! What a bad law! But, of course, they'll be the ones responsible if that happens.

As of Tuesday, DHS has approved a total of 3,696 applications since April 14 for medical marijuana. Laura Oxley, DHS spokeswoman, tells us that applications don't appear to have tapered off since Brewer and Horne's announcement.



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36 comments
Josh
Josh

I have been in a three day argument with FITZ MADRID of 98KUPD on his facebook page! He is spreading lies and propaganda that any marijuana sales that happen in the state of Arizona will ALL go torwards funding drug cartels. His stance is that all marijuana sales that happen in Arizona now, 100% of them go to funding the cartels as there is no LEGAL way for people to buy medical marijuana.

Hock
Hock

I have no issue with medicinal MJ...but I am uncomfortable with the conflict of law between the state and federal government.  I wish our federal government would just decriminalize it and be done.  Or at least change the law to allow states to have medical MJ programs.  

Billiegoat
Billiegoat

I can buy it on the street in AZ  for less than I paid in a Cali dispensary.  I can grow it myself for peanuts! I can't afford to pay for so called legal oxy or Demerol. I'm not much use to society when I take legal pain meds but I can function with weed.

psychbob498th
psychbob498th

I been getting stoned on weed every day since I got back from my stretch in Nam in 67 as a dust off medic. I  like to get  really really stoned and clean my 357. when im really fucked up.

bASICeXPOSURE
bASICeXPOSURE

At the rate of AZ MM Patient registrations to AZ MM Caregivers registered, Patients are still having to seek medication thru the black market. The only real protection and security is in managing the ratio of Patients & CannaCaregivers distributed throughout the state of AZ for maximum medication coverage. Leaving me to wonder if this low flow of registered patients /caregivers makes any sense in investing into a full blown MM Dispensary at this time... At this time - I proposes to ADHS to ammend the 5 Patient /5 OZ per month rule to AZ CannaCaregivers to a total of 25 OZ every 28 days distributed thru as many MM Patients an AZ CannaCaregiver can provide for within a documented timeline.

David Schuff
David Schuff

This probably has more to do with political jockeying for the Feds to draw a line in the sand on how they deal with States rights, so AZ can have ammo for the 1070 push. Irregardless the dispensaries were by design of 203 unethically crafted to be monopolies controlled exclusively by the elite wealthy. The Arizona middle class that desperately need a chance to participate in practically the only thriving market sector in our abysmal economy were on the verge of being laid under the tracks of the dispensary money machine!

I sincerely hope that not one dispensary ever opens in Arizona under the present law! I wisely wish that patients are free to grow their own medicine (to the tune of 12 plants per patient not 5 as stated) and if they are unable to produce it themselves, can find caregivers that will provide them with it for free. Halting the 50 mile wide rings of suffering and greed created by the dispensaries is a Godsend!

§ 36-2818. Enforcement of this act; mandamus

C. (posted above)

Patients and Caregivers who have already received their ADHS ID Card will continue to be permitted by law to possess and cultivate their medicine. If ADHS stops issuing cards, Patients who do not have their ADHS Patient ID Card, but do have a written recommendation from their doctor and a filled out and notarized ADHS application form, will also be permitted by law to possess and cultivate their medicine!

Edgar A Suter
Edgar A Suter

Indeed, without intending to do so, the opponents of medical marijuana have benefited patients.  We, too, offer a $99 medical marijuana evaluation. See http://www.DoctorSuter.com for details.

Joseph Dice
Joseph Dice

The Grow Shop, best prices on growing supplies and equipment.1733 e. mcdowell rd. phoenix. 602-340-7591

MMJ IS OK
MMJ IS OK

I'm so pleased to hear that Jan Brewer thinks she's above the laws of Arizona.  By not allowing dispensaries, she is actually allowing more growers.  This means that eventually patients will have better access to less expensive medication.  By all means Mrs. Brewer STOP those nasty regulated corporate dispensaries and let the people grow there own with little or no regulation.  If unable to grow they can get it at cost from a caregiver. 

Her obvious abuse of power in this case might actually help the people of Arizona who required marijuana to help treat a debilitating condition.  If your a patient, please exercise your right to "Grow Baby Grow"!  If you are not able to grow then pass your right to grow to a responsible caregiver.

Correction to the article above - A Patient or a Caregiver has the right to grow up to 12 plants.  All they have to do is ask for it when applying to for the card.

"If the qualifying patient's registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the qualifying patient is moving."

Mistalee
Mistalee

Hey, Ray, on the topics of police corruption and governmental stupidity surrounding the happy herb, why no mention of Jose guereña, the ex marine and Iraq vet that went down in a hail of bullets in a botched Pima county raid? http://www.salem-news.com/arti...It seems to be news everywhere but the New Times. 

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

@x1134x, you'd have a hard time selling that bill of goods to me, much less be able to sell it to Know Nothing prohibitionists. Don't hold your breath.

J Curwen
J Curwen

Listening to Tom Horne on KJZZ yesterday I was surprised to hear him refer to "poorly-written initiatives drawn up in someone's back room" or some such BS. Excuse me,  please, if I didn't get the quotation exactly. That might be true of some tea bagger initiatives, but it wasn't true of Prop 203. The proposition that became the AMMA was carefully crafted by a team of professionals here and in Washington DC at the Marijuana Policy Project. I thought he'd have studied it in greater detail.

Ross
Ross

So, what I want to know, is if a medical marijuana clinic knowingly hires an illegal alien, can it lose its license?

Albert
Albert

I really thought I was done posting today… Just when you thought the insanity couldn’t get any worse. Apparently there might be some conflicting information from the Gov. about U.S. Attorney Burke. I’m not sure but there has been a few stories/ Tweets, whether directly, or indirectly through the Arizona Guardian website. I don’t have a subscription, so I’m not really sure what the details are. I’ll post the link to the Arizona Guardians Twitter page.  http://twitter.com/#!/arizonag... Just as I’ve said before, Mr. Burke never said anything relating to Arizona State workers. Brewer has just made this into an excuse to invalidate our law. What I don’t get is that the state is still accepting patient applications??? They really must not be too concerned about being targeted by the Feds. I hope we have some attorneys who are able to speak, or maybe file an injunction against this bogus declaratory judgment. Hmm… is it a violation to file a declaratory judgment on a voter approved law based on a fear that the state still doesn’t seem to worried about? They do have other ways to get clarification, and ways that wouldn’t invalidate our voter approved law. They just picked the one that goes against the voters.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Read about how soverigns profit from the Drug Trade.  Since 1861 the elite have been trying to control and profit from the drug trade - Wells Fargo Bank makes millions off the illicit laundering of money through that bank.  Other banks too make millions from the drug trade - they donate to the campaigns of anti-drug congressmen to keep making their millions. 

It is the very mission of the U.S. Constitution to protect the right of the governed to "PURSUE HAPPINESS" that is being attacked by these anti-recreational drug laws.  These people are traitors to the cause of the Constitution.

AZMedCard.com
AZMedCard.com

Get Certified for Medical Marijuana in Arizona Now | $99 | Board Certified Physicians | Phoenix and Tucson | www.AZMedCard.com | 480-525-0802 | Take the first step in obtaining your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card. 

x1134x
x1134x

There are more and more home grows starting up every day.  It has got to really irritate the mexican cartels.  It is really going to be interesting when they try to cut them off and force them to pay a dispensary 1000% more for their medicine than they were paying for it when they grew it themselves.  They need only cite a rural grower who is not impacted by the law to show a violation of equal protection statutes, and get the law declared unconstitutional.

Hock
Hock

dispensary dope is expensive...but you know what you're getting, and you can't get arrested.  Even if you have a card and carry non-dispensary weed, your records will show the last time you purchased...so...don't forget it's a felony in Arizona...and the cops don't like the paradigm shift when it comes to MJ.

psychbob498th
psychbob498th

 of course I then get the munchies and end up scarfing  down every thing I see. I now weighed over 375 lbs and I haven't been laid by a women since 1972. the kids on my street throw rocks at me and call me gordo or fat boy and one hit me over the head with his skateboard and it caused me to have a flashback from Nam. so to calm down I rolled another big doobie and got stoned to calm down from all the fear I felt inside from those mean kids on my street who scare me and teash me daily. back in the day I would have made them suck on the barrel of my .357 pistol.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

SB 1070 and Prop 203 are not comparable. It's not a matter of the Feds are able or not able to dictate laws to the States it's a matter of which they can, and which they can't. The case against SB 1070 is cut and dried black letter Constitutional law. Prop 203 is kosher, SB 1070 was written to be struck down. Well, unless you'd prefer to think of your lawmakers as gibbering idiots.

When are you going to start lobbying the Arizona lawmakers to criminalize the evasion of Federal income tax? That's perfectly legal as far as the State of Arizona is concerned.  C'mon, 'splain it to me...

x1134x
x1134x

Hard time selling the idea that all laws must protect EQUALLY?  That's a no-brainer.  You'll NEVER see the 25 mile radius limit enforced.

Albert
Albert

Really??? Poorly written initiative? What’s poorly written are the laws the legislatures passed and the governor signed that restrict or even gut protections in Prop. 203 What part of the Voter Protection act do these people not understand? And what about a possibly poorly written declaratory judgment that may violate our laws???? I’m just asking.

EyesWideOpen
EyesWideOpen

Every Employee must undergo a full finger printing and background check in addition to all the normal e-verify employment requirements.  The average dispensary employee will be cleaner than your average attorney general.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Why do you want to know that, Ross? 

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

 Seeds for any variety are available through internet based discussion groups.  There is a huge push for a "free seeds" movement.  Just google it and you will find it.  Lots of patient growers are sharing their seeds.  Let the competition begin for the best bud!  Just wait until Brewer has to pose with Miss Hemp Arizona !

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

How are things over in your little alternative reality psychbob498th? Back here on planet Earth, third stone from the sun medicinal cannabis is significantly helpful for veterans who have PTSD. Israel has recognized medicinal cannabis with one significant motivating factor of helping their military veterans with an effective PTSD therapy. Israel is the only country in the world where patients in hospitals are allowed to use medicinal cannabis. No, they don't smoke in the hospital.

I recall hearing more than a few times that the Israelis hold their soldiers in very high esteem, particularly those that suffer injury in the line of duty, and that includes PTSD.

It's very sad that there are people without the native intelligence required to be able to differentiate between reality and a propaganda fantasy in their mind much less medicine for the sick and recreational use. -----------------------------------------------http://ocnorml.org/articles/is..."quoted from the link above: Israel to Treat Soldiers With Marijuana

August 9, 2004

"The medical arm of the Israeli army has joined Hebrew University in studying the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hundreds of Israelis have been treated for combat stress after performing their mandatory national service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"In Israel, unlike in the United States, compassion for human suffering takes precedence over drug war ideology..."

David Schuff
David Schuff

The 50 mile wide monopolized rings of greed and suffering is poorly written! This arbitrary distance's sole intent is ensuring that only the millionaires that can afford dispensary licenses can participate in this industry here!

The fact that growing patients and caregivers are explicitly denied the opportunity to sell any excess meds to the dispensaries promotes Medical Cannabis being funneled to the black market! Again, VERY poorly written and the only logical motive is to protect the monopoly of the dispensaries! This law was crafted primarily to create more wealth for the already very wealthy who always knew they would be the only ones getting dispensary licenses! Most of whom are from other states, circumventing the ADHS guidelines on that issue is childs play for any business attorney!

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

When Cannabis was approved [in Israel] for medicinal purposes in 1999, it was originally intended for terminal cancer and AIDS patients. Today it is being used in earlier stages of illness and for a wider array of diseases, including Parkinson's, Tourette Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain and shell shock. The medical establishment is also increasingly recognizing Cannabis' effectiveness in treating illness. At the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital's Bone Marrow Transplantation department, patients including children and babies are treated using drops of oil derived from Cannabis. "It has no side effects and is largely effective in treating patients," said department chief, Professor Reuven Or. "I would say it is effective in 80 percent of patients, which is a lot." Professor Or continued, "It stimulates the appetite and minimizes nausea and vomiting, which is of great importance in Oncology. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in cases of infection or inflammation caused by radiation. Along with this, Cannabis eases the coping process for patients - it improves their morale and lowers depression, and these are important parameters for patients battling disease." ......"Smoking Cannabis allows me to talk to you and sound coherent even if I haven't slept all night," she continued. "Cannabis is a multipurpose drug that should be included in the public health basket. Its use significantly decreases the use of other drugs, which is cost-effective for the state. Cannabis improves all patients' functioning, and we are not just talking about relief from symptoms but also about a certain form of therapy.".. text above quoted from:http://www.haaretz.com/news/me...

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