Kimberly Yee and Sheila Polk Use Power to Prop Up Marijuana Prohibition

Categories: Medical Weed

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Photo illustration: Ray Stern
The New Prohibitionists of Arizona
Arizonans who want to fight marijuana legalization in this state have two strong allies in powerful positions: State Senator Kimberly Yee and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk.

Like would-be leaders of a modern-day women's temperance movement, the two Arizona politicians share a strong belief that cannabis users deserve to be jailed, and that the legalization movement sweeping the country should be literally nipped in the buds.

In the latest moves by the pair to thwart the medical-marijuana law approved by voters in 2010, Yee has single-handedly blocked a proposal to use the state's medical-marijuana fund to help study how pot may help certain ailments, and Polk has won a court battle that allows her to ban a medical user from using the drug as a condition of her probation.

See also:
-Kimberly Yee Wants to Tell You When You Can Have An Abortion
-Sheila Polk Was Wrong: Medical-Pot Dispensaries Now Open in AZ

Their latest efforts follow previous actions in targeting marijuana and the 2010 law, making the women among the chief pot-prohibitionists in the state.

Yee, R-Phoenix, the chair of the senate education committee, today refused to bring the study-funding proposal for a hearing -- even though it's supported by other Republicans. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Ethan Orr, R-Tucson, would have allowed the use of funds collected by the state from medical-marijuana cardholders, caregivers and dispensaries to pay for government-approved studies.

Dr. Sue Sisley, M.D., has been trying for years to launch a study on how marijuana may help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her proposal has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Obama Administration, and the Arizona House of Representatives.

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Kimberly Yee
Yee never returns our calls, but she reportedly told Fox 10 News, (KSAZ-TV), that the reason she didn't want the bill heard was "she feels backers of the scientific study want to legalize marijuana, as in Colorado or Washington state."

Yee claimed she couldn't get her Republican colleagues, including sponsor Orr, on the phone to discuss the matter. But when Fox 10 News reached Orr, who's on a trade mission in Mexico, he seems to have all but called Yee a liar, saying Yee won't return his calls.

Outraged cannabis supporters organized a phone-call blitz, but Yee has remained unmoved. [UPDATE JULY 10: This sentence, which originally said "Sisley and outraged cannabis supporters organized..." has been altered. Sisley, though outspoken on this issue and critical of Yee in news media interviews at the time this article was published, reports that she was "absolutely not" an organizer of the phone-call blitz, nor did she participate in "activism" or political activities on university work hours. The U of A told Sisley in July her contract would not be renewed, and she claims the university alleges she engaged in political activism on the job.]

Yee's previous anti-pot efforts include a failed bill that aimed to revoke a dispensary's operating license if it didn't properly label a marijuana product even once, and another failed bill that would have allowed police to destroy seized medical-marijuana, whether or not the seizure was legally valid.

Why Yee is such a crusader isn't clear from her background. She's an English major who later received a master's degree in public administration, a career government employee who once served as a cabinet member for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Polk's rabid anti-marijuana stance is equally hard to figure out. As a top law enforcement figure in the state, in a decidedly right-wing county, her actions could be reasonably explained as pandering to her constituents. But Polk's hardcore opposition to marijuana seems to run deep, pushing her to pump out Soviet-style disinformation on the subject at times. She's also a co-chair for MATFORCE, an anti-drug organization that has taken a political stance against legalizing marijuana.

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28 comments
shadeaux
shadeaux

Gee Arizonans elect the most ignorant leadership possible.


Who would have thought?

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

It's all about money.  Someone or some corporation or some for profit prison paid them off.  Prohibition is good for business.  It keeps cops working, DAs working, judges have jobs, tow trucks, probation officers, prisons can't fill themselves, so you need prisoners, after all it is a "for-profit" prison industry in AZ, sherrif Joe needs a job, etc.  What do you expect??  Days of fighting crime are over, these are the days of Law Enforcement and capitalism.  the demand for prisoners will never allow prohibition to be over.  Good Luck!

Eleanor_Holguin
Eleanor_Holguin

Karma will take care of these two.


Voters should also take care of these two. 


There will come a day in their lives when they will need medical marijuana because there will be no drug to fix or cure what ails them or someone they love. Until then their ignorance should be questioned.

JimTolar
JimTolar

Am I the only one who noticed that the lead sentence in the article is wrong?


"Arizonans who want to fight marijuana prohibition in this state have two strong allies in powerful positions: State Senator Kimberly Yee and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk."

should be instead

"Arizonans who want to SUPPORT marijuana prohibition in this state have two strong allies in powerful positions: State Senator Kimberly Yee and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk."


Also, Yee and Polk are morons.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Just what Arizona needs, more whacked out bitches in politics.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Yee is terrible. She seems to answer to no one, in any of her actions. As chairman of Senate Education she ignores every comment from every Statewide group except those from the Goldwater and the Taliban.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Yee is terrible. She seems to answer to no one, in any of her actions. As chairman of Senate Education she ignores every comment from every Statewide group except those from the Goldwater and the Taliban. Every vote is pre-ordained on every piece that gets to her committee.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Sorry you never know if the post went thru.

Jenna
Jenna

So, when is Polk going to start demanding the withholding of Insulin, Hypertension Meds, Asthma Meds, Kidney Dialysis, etc. because SHE perceives herself to have more knowledge of medical issues than those with a medical degree? And why not.........She perceives herself to be a dictator that doesn't have to follow the will of the people. She is very dangerous and needs an evaluation to determine why she has such an authoritarian complex.

Somehow, though, she doesn't demand the same obedience when comes to raping 13 year olds with broom handles. The only obedience she expected of that sick criminal behavior was to go on a Mormon Mission. 

And thug police officer gang members beating people up in bars just gets a "Hmmmmmmm..............."

     

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

All these 2 politicians see is the $ from arrest, incarceration, fines, going from lawyers and cops, to everyone else. They could give a rats rear end about anything else. peace

e.meenie69
e.meenie69

As a 60+ female, born and raised Arizona citizen , I am appalled by these two women, who have declared war on Medical Marijuana and the patients.

I have not seen the likes of such political shenanigans since Ev Mecham was in office.

Shame on them, and shame on the rest of their constituents for letting them get away with this. 

Don't think for a moment we will forget come election time! 

BrianKelly
BrianKelly

The "War on Marijuana" has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful "War on Drugs" that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.


Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending "War on Marijuana", lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It's a no brainer.


The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?


Marijuana is much safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?


Let's end this hypocrisy now!


The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less "crimes" because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.


Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that's approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!


Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

JustSayin
JustSayin

I see this backfiring just like SB1062. 

teknik
teknik

Nothing like "small government" in action!

Trommy
Trommy

I wonder what they will prohibit when Cannabis prohibition is over?


ray.stern
ray.stern moderator

@JimTolar  I guess they're not the only morons. Lead sentence fixed.

bobunf
bobunf

@e.meenie69  LD 20 – east of 67th Ave, west of Cave Creek, north of Dunlap (Thurderbird on the east side of I-17), south of Bell (Union Hills east of 35th Ave).


The Democrat running against Yee this year is Patrice Kennedy.  He's running clean, i.e., he needs $5 contributions from you if you live in LD 20. 


Registered Republicans in the District are 38%, Democrats 28%, Independents 33%.  Latinos 18%, Blacks 4%, Asians 3%; Obama got 43.4% of the vote in LD 20 in 2012.

In 2012 Michael Powell ran against Republican Kimberly Yee* and Independent Doug Quelland.  Those two split the Republican vote, but Powell still lost 51 to 37.  

The District also has former minuteman Carl Seel*, the recipient of a $102,000 principal reduction on his mortgage in exchange for help to the banking industry.  He's also in line for the Dumbest Arizona Legislator.  

Nonetheless Jackie Thrasher lost against Seel by 2,523 votes – 2 points.

The voters in this district are pretty Neanderthal.  No offense to Neanderthals.  


ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@BrianKelly The people who opposed legalization of alcohol were supposedly smart "Christian" people who used the bible to support their position - BUT THEY WERE WRONG!  These people are also using the bible to support their position and THEY ARE WRONG TOO!!!  I really understand why god hates false prophets AND tools of the corporate elite - don't think for one minute that the wealthiest among us don't have their hands in the drug cartel's money stream.  It's been like that ever since the Royals were involved in the opium wars.



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