Medical Marijuana Applications Slowing Down; Arizona Nearly to 15,000 Qualified Patients

Categories: Medical Weed

arpaio bud 2.jpg
Photo Illustration: Ray Stern
The state of Arizona wants you to have this bud, legally -- why aren't you taking it?

The rate of Arizonans applying for medical-marijuana cards has slowed down in the last couple of months, a stat that could indicate public confusion about pot's newfound legality.

A quick look at a recent update on the state Department of Health Services website shows that 14,852 people have been approved to legally possess marijuana under state law. The number of applications received only is slightly higher in the October 27 report; the state's been approving more than 99 percent of applications that come in.

After monthly increases of about 30 percent in the number of processed applications in July and August, the rate of increase dropped by almost half by September's end, to just under 18 percent.

From the end of September to October 27, the rate of increase was only 13.3 percent.

Putting those figures into words: Interest in the program appears to be waning.

Why would that be?

Does Arizona have fewer people who tolerate, need or -- dare we say it -- enjoy marijuana than California or Colorado? (California has an estimated one million qualified patients, while Colorado has more than 127,000 as of the end of August.)

That's doubtful. As the above-linked article on California notes, Colorado and Montana (which have better tracking systems than California's freewheeling program) show that 2 to 3 percent of the population signed up to possess weed legally. This means that Arizona, with about 6.4 million people, should have up to 128,000 folks (that's 2 percent of the population) who should be at least interested in signing up.

True, the medical-marijuana programs in California and Colorado have been around longer and have had more time to build up interest. And even if Arizona's registry only goes up by 15 percent a month, the number of patients will surpass 100,000 in about four years, (by all means, check our math on that, and let us know if you disagree.)

Still, assuming our estimate is correct that there's 125,000 or so Arizonans who would like to have a card, we'd expect the registry to be booming much more than it is.

Our best guess is that Arizonans are hesitating to apply for cards because they're not sure if the program still is valid (and because there are no legal dispensaries in the state yet) thanks to Governor Jan Brewer's actions to thwart voters in Arizona.

And they're not sure if it'll be valid in the near future, thanks to President Obama's actions to thwart voters and state legislatures around the country.

Carolyn Short, who led the unsuccessful campaign last year to defeat Arizona's Prop 203, recently lobbied Brewer to halt issuing registration cards, just as the governor halted  the dispensary program. Short believes that a federal judge ultimately will rule that Arizona's medical marijuana is illegal, which will end the state's entire medical pot program.

If the rate of people applying for medical-marijuana cards in Arizona keeps decreasing, then eventually, the question of what the feds do will be irrelevant.

 

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48 comments
Hayekcanadasking
Hayekcanadasking

Until we take back our rights from the FED, we will fall victim to paralysis

x1134x
x1134x

What is the incentive to pay more money for a card, and more money for the doctor, and more money for the stuff that you've been buying from your friend for years with zero chances of getting caught?

There are just less un-savvy purchasers here in AZ, most consumers don't need a dispensary to find the substance, and would be paying much more money if they did.

factsrfun
factsrfun

Due to the magic of compound interest, 15%/month would be over 100,000 in less than a year. The actual number per month of new patients has remianed fairly constent and is on track to hit 100,000 in about 3 to 4 years. I wonder how this compares to the numbers in CO and CA over the first year.

Azcs West Phx
Azcs West Phx

Actually, There are over 19,000 patients in the state of Arizona, and that number is still rising quicker. ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS- Check the first 7 numbers of your medical marijuana card! That is what number you are! 

Ziah Jolley
Ziah Jolley

I think there is a lot of confusion on the subject of legality. Maybe that's the reason applications are down. People are watching what's happening here in California and that's put the brakes on some stuff. I am happy to say though that not that many dispensaries were closed down here. The ones that were, just found new locations or became 'delivery services'. Those that were closed down were right next to schools or other 'public' places that were deemed 'unacceptable'. Some people just found other locations to run their business. So far so good here, and let's hope it stays that way.

http://fastmedicalmarijuanacar...

Jeannie Kelley
Jeannie Kelley

IF you smoke or grow weed,you should consider the money savings in having a card,first: if youre house catches fire while growing weed in your closet,youre covered by insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!second:you get a get out of jail free card.getting busted,even with a roach is charged with a FELONY,costing at least 2 to 3 THOUSAND DOLLARS just for a laywer to take youre case.wise up!! it is well worth getting insurance/MMJ card.have someone else grow your weed,if you are afraid.we dont need the crooked dispensarys to make a killing off of something that should be marketed and traded like tomatoes!eventualy everyone will be growing and trading strains of weed,much like other home garden veggies and herbs.E.T. aka Jan brewer will just have to try to find someone else for a liver donor!

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

So if no one goes to jail for pot, there's no problem repealing the obviously useless law, right?

"We have to keep pot illegal so that we can not put anyone in jail for breaking the law!"

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

I see you have a problem differentiating the State from the Federal authorities. That's very sad.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

Why in the world would Carolyn Short or anyone expect the Federal Courts to strike down Arizona's law? The California Compassionate Ues Act has been around for 15 years, and has been in front of the SCOTUS 4 times. The last 2 times with the SCOTUS having no interest in hearing the arguments of Ms. Short's counterparts. It's absurd to expect the Federales to come in an save the State from its own law. Go sue yourself Arizona.

Say Ms. Brewer, can you say the word hypocrite? I knew you could.

savatage
savatage

Like I'm going to offer up that I smoke, and furthermore that I grow (the only legal way to get it)? Since when has federal law stopped Shurf Joke from doing anything? Too scary. Too expensive as well. The state wants to make their money off of patients. Nah, foo.

Albert
Albert

One more reason the numbers are down is because of the legislature passing HB2541 & HB2585.... Both are going to have to be tossed because they violate protection of Prop. 203.  From adding everyone's Prop. 203 info to the states PMP prescription monitoring program to reducing workers medical privacy related to all prescription use. Legal FDA drugs as well... just because you look impaired.. or they claim.. and based on a good faith guess... your now fired. And they don't even have to confirm it with a test. This applies to everyone!!! And not just Prop. 203 patients.People are afraid to lose their jobs... The legislature broke the law passing these bills... they may have had 3/4 of the legislature  to make a change, but because it took away protections and privacy.... they violated the Voter Protection Act.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

How people vote Republican or Democrat dumbfounds me. This issue has been validated at the ballot box twice in this state, and is still being snubbed by "elected representitives". WTH, keep voting for them. peace

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Ray Stern is an asshole for not printing the story about me getting arrested and having CASE dismissed in Cottonwood AZ. a few months ago!!!!!!

More information suppressed by the bullshit media!!!!

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Apples and oranges, buddy: the feds don't do small cases as a rule. The state is more than happy to feed the private prison industry with victims of it's draconian drug policies. Prop 203 was a state proposition, creating the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. It addressed no federal statutes. It didn't have to. Now we have about 15000 people who are protected from arrest under the new STATE law.BTW, the last big federal case over a small amount of pot that I recall was the US versus Timothy Leary. That one didn't go very well for the feds as I recall: got the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 declared unconstitutional.

Joyfully1
Joyfully1

As a 61 year old Arizona patient and native, I am DISGUSTED with how little regard people have regarding patient choice of how the choose to medicate their pain. Of cource the applications have slowed down. Why should someone pay a doctor $150 for the recommendation, then apply for a card for another $150 and NOT have access to purchase it from a safe, secure, and monitored dispensary.

 You get two choices, cultivate it yourself, or have a caregiver do it, which is not an easy task, regardless what people think of throwing a few seeds in soil and adding water. It takes much more to produce the kind of QUALITY medicine for patients and since most patients don't smoke, they then have to find edibles. The last thing a COMPASSIONATE person wants to do is make a patient sicker.

Carolyn Short and her co-horts have destroyed what we the voters (for a third time) have voted for. In doing this they have created a confused and chaotic enviroment of unsupervised drug dealers. Adelle put it right when she sang " we could have had it all". Increased revenue for the state coffers and safe access for patients who have made the choice not to put synthetic chemicals in their bodies.And the ones who are left to suffer in the wake of this mess, is us, the patients.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

When was the last time you heard of feds prosecuting anyone over a small amount of pot? Get real. Qualifying people who could benefit from being a card carrier and don't get one are being too cautious by half.

Reignbo420
Reignbo420

ATTENTION ALL PATIENTS/CAREGIVERS!!!! THE ATF HAS OFFICIALLY VIOLATED YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!! YOU ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED TO PURCHASE OR POSSESS A FIREARM!!!! THEY HAVE NEVER PASSED LAWS AGAINST NARCOTIC PAIN MED PATIENTS OR KNOWN ALCOHOLICS!!!  ACCORDING TO THE ATF, YOU ARE NOW A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN!!!! THOSE FUCKING HYPOCRITES!!! SPEAK OUT, SPEAK LOUD, AND PUT THOSE CUNTS BACK THEIR PANTIES WHERE THEY BELONG!!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!! 

Really?
Really?

My guess is that people are smart enough to figure out that when you register for the card you just made yourself an easy target!  Guess it makes Law Enforcement's job easy when they deem this a no-go due to violating Federal Law.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Colorado medical marijuana card applications are also decreasing due to the high tax and dispensaries not getting approved. Medical is the flavor of the past and looking forward recreational will prevail!

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

I've noticed that many supposedly mainstream news outlets continually refer to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act program as "on hold." This confuses the situation, as it is untrue, a gross oversimplification. The dispensaries have been sidelined, but that's all (so far). I'd expect this sort of obfuscation from Faux News, but I've heard that line trotted out repeatedly on KJZZ and you'd think they would know better. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Program is NOT on hold. No professional journalist should be using that line of BS.

someguy
someguy

I'm sorry but that is just false, there is no such thing as zero chances of getting caught. I have been stopped by a police officer for being "stopped at a green light" (wtf, seriously?) and then had my vehicle searched, cop finds a couple freakin stems and I get arrested, had to go through tasc got randomly drug tested every week and had to pay about $1200. Also I have a job and I'm doing pretty well off right now, going to jail and having to pay fines out the ass doesn't sound very fun to me and would cause a lot of problems. If I can get a card, spend a little extra cash and avoid legal risks, I'll do it.

Albert
Albert

The SCOUTUS might not want to take on a "drug issue" with relating to states rights that are stated in the Constitution. And when they might have to rule against the CSA????It's kind of hard to continue prohibition, and limit a liberty... when you don't have the authority granted by the Constitution....... Again the Ninth And Tenth Amendments give the people, and states rights that aren't listed,and not prohibited in the Constitution  and should supersede any federal law.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Get a grip, Mike.  You're the one who is acting like an asshole.   Shouting about all the bullshit in your personal life is just your out of control ego in charge of your running mouth.   I've been there before.   Chill, bro.

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Mike, I may be an asshole, but you're a whiner.

Your case wasn't dismissed until June. Three months before that, I published an article about 10 cases like yours that were dismissed in Mohave County because of our new law:http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

The day after your case was dismissed on June 15, I wrote a story about Gilbert police in riot gear storming a home for 2 ounces of weed:http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

The only I thing I suppressed was your 16th minute of fame.

Albert
Albert

The thing is that states should have the Constitution in their corner... The Ninth and Tenth Amendment confirm our non stated rights, and liberties and our states extra rights, and ability to make our own laws. The Constitution is the supreme law land, and not every federal statue that congress puts together. No where in the Constitution does it give the federal government authority over this issue. As far as an ENUMERATED power... Anything that isn't prohibited in the Constitution, is left to the states, or the people. Also, there is this thing called prohibition... It took a Constitutional Amendment(18th Amendment) to take away alcohol, and  another Constitutional Amendment(21st Amendment) to abolish prohibition. You know we (our country) has had issues with alcohol, and drugs from the beginning, but because it was considered a  liberty,,, they couldn't just take them away....   Here the feds have made them illegal without going through "the people" for their choice. But I would say that it's Unconstitutional!

I(420)boobies
I(420)boobies

I my self am a 32 year old breast cancer victim.. and to tell you the truth... I am scared to get my card... I have heard sooo many bad things about it all that you can't have a gun. will still go to jail... it is discouraging.. and I know that I am not the only one who feels this way... so there for because a PLANT is illegal to possess and use for medicinal purposes I have to suffer in pain everyday and worry about what is REALLY in those prescriptions that my dr is giving me... SOMEONE please help.. WE need to as a nation as a FREE nation take our country back and DEMAND that we be able to USE this PLANT as we see fit.. for the love of BOB... we have been using the cannabis plant since before 8000 B.C. ... and for those skeptics that are so called "CHRISTIANS" you are the biggest hypocrites of all... if you read the bible it says "GOD PUT ALL SEED BEARING PLANTS ON THIS PLANET FOR OUR USE".... Cannabis is a SEED bearing plant.. it just so happens that if you DRY it out and ROLL it up and LIGHT it on fire... then INHALE... funny things happen... your pain starts to relieve, and muscles start to relax... nausea goes away, Your blood pressure goes down and you RELAX... so what is the freaking problem SOMEONE please tell. me... THE WAY I SEE IT... If I am sick and this is the one ORGANIC thing that makes me able to live a somewhat normal life.. and function like a normal person.. other than the cancer... lol ... then I should be able to GROW my OWN... and be HAPPY AND HEALTHY...

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

You guys in Arizona are lucky not to have dispensaries.  The dispensary system in Colorado messed up everything and is presently falling apart.  http://420.co

Really?
Really?

Now, I'm confused.  All the pro-drug peeps keep whining over sick people getting arrested over small possession for sickness...so which is it?  

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Now there is a cogent and pithy observation.

Albert
Albert

I agree... But the section in the Second Amendment.. that says, the right of the People to keep and bear arms SHALL not be INFRINGED. Because it says SHALL... that is what courts claim is compulsory = 1 Required by law. INFRINGED= 1 Actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.) 2 Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on: "infringe on his privacy".  So how, and by what authority does Congress have to limit anyone's Constitutional Rights. Sorry... it's not in the Constitution. Those 2 words prohibit Congress from touching people's ARMS RIGHTS!!!!!  Federal statues are Unconstitutional if they violate, or diminish rights given to the American People by the Constitution.  I'm not making any of this up... It's what is written in the Constitution. And really there really isn't any need to interpret this. By taking that phrase, and incorporating the 2  definitions I gave, a person with basic understanding can figure out what the Second Amendment means. And US Code/Law  and State laws..that aren't consistant with the Constitution are NOT legal. I'm not a judge, and I can figure that one out.  14th Amendment -Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Actually, that doesn't apply to caregivers for one thing. The ATF rational (never yet tested in court) is that if one has a card one is necessarily a user of an unlawful controlled substance. However, that is like saying anyone whose doc gives them a scrip for oxycodone is a user -- it presumes that once given a scrip it is both filled and used.

Caregiver cards (for growers) should provide no such assumption as the card is a license to produce, but not consume MMJ. The law says nothing about growers, or producers. It is specifically directed at unlawful users and addicts.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

You do not live in a FREE country when you are AFRAID to get a LEGAL card thru the AZ Dept of Health.You live in a fearful NAZI state!!!!!I have had a case DISMISSED after overzealous STUPID COPS arrested me telling me the law was not in effect!!!!!!!!

I bet you are one of those AZ idiots that ran out and bought bullets when Obama was elected!!!!!!!

This country is dead!!!

4eva420
4eva420

More like gutsy enough to be proactive in a war against tyranny and government sponsored misinformation. I would LOVE the chance to get a straight-forward, direct, and, of course RECORDED response to my accusations of their multi-agency conspiracy/treason that is going on. It's like fucking Iran-Contras all over again. DISGUSTING!!!

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

With as many cards as have been issued, the feds have a helluva lot of potential targets. The more who sign up, the less valuable any of that information will be. Those who have cards are pretty much immune from state level prosecution unless they really screw up.

x1134x
x1134x

Sorry someguy, but you're one of the negligent 1%.  You were negligent.  You got caught.  The other 99% who are not negligent, do not get caught.  They don't have stems and seeds in their car.  They don't allow a cop to get behind them if they ever travel with it.  They pull off the road into a parking lot if they have to.  They do it during a time when pulling off the road wouldn't raise suspicions. (like not 2:00am)  They exercise common sense.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Squeaky wheel gets the grease...................................

What have you done today to advance the MMJ cause?

By the way I have turned down interviews in Az already for the local T.V. and the PBS special in Montana due to sensationalism.

The media in AZ is the WORST I have seen in ALL of the western states when It comes to MMJ.

I wonder if you would have told Rosa Parks to "chill out" and just go sit at the back of the bus????

UR DUMB !!!

Darjon39
Darjon39

Who's pocket are you in Ray?

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Thats bullshit ray And you know it!

Gee ray I am in control of the ONLY current active HEMP license in AMERICA!

I have the seeds and the land and will be planting in the spring.

I operated the largest MMJ Collective in Montana and DID NOT GET RAIDED!

I know WAY more about the MMJ biz that most in AZ especially you!!

Dont be a hater Ray.

Do your job and report the facts................

My story PROVES Gilbert police are full of shit BUT you wrote the story like they cops had some justification.

Law enforcement in AZ swears to uphold state law NOT federal law.

Why did I choose this public forum to call you out?

Because you avoided documenting the facts and tried to sensationalize MMJ story.

Ray I have been in many newspapers and on tv so I call BULLSHIT on the ides I wanted 15min of fame. I have had many hours of it and I am not done yet, its not about me Ray its about the patients.

I have been doing this for 4 years and am legal in 3 states right now.

Google this

Patent No. US 6,630,507 B1

That is the patent for the CBDs in MMJ.The fed owns it..............................................since 2003CBDs were removed from Controlled Substance List last year so there are 100% LEGAL.

Seems like if you need a question answered TRUTHFULLY you would need to contact me NOT read your endless diatribe of sensationalism about MMJ.

Pull your head out or just go write about girls volleyball at the high school, we need REAL FIGHTERS that want to publish REAL INFORMATIVE news articles.

Ohh yeah we have helped over 1000 REAL patients get there MMJ card in AZ and over 2000 In MT.

A very wise man once said,

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

Abe Lincoln

Michael J SmithExecutive Directorwww.sensiblemontana.orgwww,montanahempfarmers.orgwww.thehealingcentermedicalcli...

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

You certainly do seem confused. You wouldn't happen to be in law enforcement, would you? Just a wild guess.

4eva420
4eva420

He's probably more into the noxious odor of tea bags...... the 2 kinds of tea bags not produced by Lipton....   ;-)

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Not Mike Smith's, obviously!

webmusher
webmusher

@Mike Smith Let me get this right, wouldn't want to be spreading false information, I see on just about ever site in Montana that your a well know rip off and nobody ever wants to see your ass there again, I see that your Dr writing the scripts has had is license to practice medicine revoked in AZ for being "unsafe" and shortly after that California revoked his medical license as well, now you are in Alaska with the same Dr and your making death threats (on me) and ranting like a lunatic against anyone that does not totally support your rip off "MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD" clinic, the THC Medical Clinic in Anchorage, have I left anything out Mike Smith? (Still waiting for you to come "SLICE MY %^$#@& HEAD OFF *&^%$#@" by the way.)

Mijg
Mijg

The real issue is not medical marijuana itself. The issue is stopping police state adherents from hurting citizens who choose to use this new medicine. This new trend of law enforcement against the laws that people voted in, is itself lawlessness. By the state breaking the law by not implementing the law, our leaders have set up a situation of distrust of our public servants, and thier ability to implement the voted in law. The people, knowing the spirit of the law, created cannabis clubs which are trying thier best to serve patients - but are very easy targets. Now that the people know that law enforcement gathered all patient information at the 2811 raid, who in thier right mind would try to get a card? Us voters are surprised our freedom loving Republican leadership would pull these stunts.

savatage
savatage

And after drinking his drug of choice... getting all mean, nasty and self-righteous. Alkys getting down on drug users. Classic.

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