Arizona Medical-Marijuana Card Database Used Frequently by Cops and Employers

Categories: Medical Weed

See also: Blunt Justice

See also: Marijuana is Real Medicine for a Long List of Ills


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A database of everyone who has an Arizona medical-marijuana card is being well-used by employers and law enforcement officials, a report of database users shows.

The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act requires the state Department of Health Services to set up and maintain the computer list (see below) of registered patients and caregivers. Its primary use is to ensure that patients don't get arrested if caught with pot by police.

As of last week, 2,646 access accounts have been created for people to check on the validity of medical-marijuana cards. Police departments, sheriff's offices, and even federal outfits like the Border Patrol and ATF are among the public safety shops that have set up accounts. The DEA only has one account that it hasn't yet used.


No "fishing" is allowed. The database, which now contains info on about 40,000 patients and caregivers, can't be searched by inputting names or addresses. Only a registration card number can be submitted for verification.

In other words, cops can't sign up for access to the database, then randomly check to see if Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery or anyone else is a patient. But if Montgomery gets stopped with a couple ounces of Blackberry Kush and provides a card number, police can then verify whether or not he's okay under state law to possess marijuana.

It's up to each police agency whether to obtain access privileges for individual officers, or obtain just a few access accounts that can then be used by supervisors or dispatchers, who would get the card numbers relayed to them by officers on the street. Most agencies just have a few accounts, but some have a lot more. Of the 2,646 total accounts, 851 are from a single police agency -- Phoenix police.

The report by DHS doesn't list all of the times that the database has been accessed by anyone, just the date of the latest access. Many police agency accounts were accessed in the last few days, which suggests they are encountering patients frequently and checked on the validity of their cards.

Some police agencies -- like the Cottonwood Police Department and the DEA -- have set up accounts, but have never actually checked anyone's registration card.

Probation departments, especially the one in Maricopa, are regular users of the database, though we're not sure why. Perhaps people on probation are being caught using marijuana by their probation officer, but then presenting a medical-marijuana card to the officer. We left a message with Michael Cimino to ask him about this, but he hasn't called back yet.

Last year, the Arizona Legislature expanded the scope of the system, allowing employers to also get access to the database.

The DHS list of database account holders shows the names of numerous employers, both public and private. Arizona Game and Fish, Go Daddy, Swift Transportation and PetSmart are among the account holders.

An employer would typically use the database in conjunction with a drug-testing program. If an employee fails a drug test, or perhaps if the employee simply knows a drug test is about to be administered, he or she might present a medical-marijuana card for verification. The employer then logs in to the DHS database to validate the card number.

Several medical-marijuana-related businesses, like Arizona MMJ Community Clinics, have accounts. Presumably, those businesses would want to ensure a prospective employee has patient or caregiver status.

The list also contains many drug-testing businesses. Chad Haas, spokesman for Complete Testing Solutions, says his company routinely validates medical-marijuana cards for employees who have been ordered to take a drug test by their employer. Haas says that, in his experience, employers "are pretty lenient" about their card-holding employees unless the patient has a job that could involve danger to others, such as a bus driver.

We're just wondering how long before the state's database gets hacked.

Click here to see the list (in Excel spreadsheet format) of account holders with access to the DHS medical-marijuana database as of August 11.


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11 comments
ianoconnorfamily
ianoconnorfamily

I thought our patient information was supposed to be kept confidential? 

nancy496
nancy496

Of course they are. The corrupts are doing everything they can to hang on to their fat cat jobs.

ray_und
ray_und

Election year and our politicians are not talking or listening. The Feds need to reform the Marijuana status. Get with it you slow old Men. Do some good for once??

AzMMJNewsletter
AzMMJNewsletter

@imhighhowareyou Thanks for the RT. It's really appreciated.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14 topcommenter

But God says it's wrong.

 

Just ask the Queen of Mean (Jan Brewer) or any of the other cons who have a direct line to God.

muzzylu
muzzylu

It's so stupid to fight marijuana; it is effective, safe, and has over a thousand years of use. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.  

 

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16 topcommenter

The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world's population yet uses 60 percent of the world's drugs. The prohibition on these drugs has been waged for 70 years and has cost $1.5 trillion.

 

Prohibition has cruelly ruined the lives of millions of peaceful and productive citizens while bankrolling the most evil people on the planet. Prohibition has stagnated the normal economy while allowing criminal enterprises to control an untaxed thriving underground economy worth over 300,000 million dollars. By it's emphasis on the eradication of marijuana/hemp we have also been denied the most workable and logical solutions to a number of growing problems, be they medicinal, industrial, chemical, or commercial.

 

According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save an annual $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues. 

 

Thanks to Prohibition, we now have a far higher percentage of our own citizens locked in cages than any other nation on the whole planet. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally, their families often go on government assistance, leaving the average tax payer to pick up the bill. Their kids may also be taken into care, or raised by foster parents—again with our money. Now add to all this: the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition—like police officers, judges and public defenders—and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday" (October 24, 1929) happened during the period of another of our great experiments: Alcohol Prohibition (1919-1933)

 

* The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. 

 

* 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.

 

* 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009—pproximately 1% of US adults.

 

* Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.

 

* In 2009, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated)—Approximately 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.

 

During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

 

Prohibition causes massive crime and suffering, causes government/police corruption, causes America to have the highest prison population of any country in the history of the planet, causes Americans to lose all their rights and all their true core-values, causes the waste of trillions in taxpayer dollars, causes wars, violence and death (at home and abroad),  perpetuates racism, causes America to be hated by other countries, and funds both criminals and terrorists.

 

For God's sake wake up! The prisons are bursting, the police are corrupt, most of us are not even safe in our own homes anymore, while the whole country/planet is on the verge of a total social and financial collapse. 

 

JesseSlattery
JesseSlattery

@weedbay420 so far they can just use the numbers but a computer program can simply access every number and copy the info down in a list...

Eleanor
Eleanor

Thanks for the story, Matt.

imhighhowareyou
imhighhowareyou

@AzMMJNewsletter anytime...thanks for the information it also is greatly appreciated

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