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Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program Is in Danger

Arizona Medical Marijuana Program

UPDATE: At 11:41am on January 22, 2016, Rep. Jay Lawrence killed HCR2019 via Twitter, stating: “Bill dealing with medical marijuana withdrawn. People convinced me that proper care is being taken before a prescription is written.” Continue to take a stand for your rights by joining the rally on Wed., January 27th at 10am at the Arizona State Capitol building.

State legislators continuously attempt to undermine the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) that voters passed in 2010. But a current attempt by Rep. Jay Lawrence via bill HCR2019 would ultimately decimate Arizona’s medical marijuana program.

HCR2019 proposes two crucial problems:

  • Medical marijuana cards would have to be renewed every six months instead of annually, thus doubling the cost for patients
  • Many of the doctors that can recommend medical marijuana would no longer be permitted by the state to do so, thus making it practically impossible for qualifying patients to find a doctor that will recommend medical marijuana

The state fee for an Arizona medical marijuana card is $150 and medical marijuana doctor offices typically charge $100 per visit. If HCR2019 passes, patients will have to pay approximately $500 per year for their two cards and two visits to the doctor.

If HCR2019 removes naturopathic (ND) and homeopathic (HMD) doctors from being permitted to make medical marijuana recommendations in Arizona, it’d leave only doctors of medicine (MDs) and osteopathic doctors (DOs) to be permitted by the state to make recommendations. But because the Controlled Substance Act does not federally permit for MDs and DOs to recommend marijuana since it is still a Schedule I Controlled Substance, these doctors risk losing their medical license by recommending medical marijuana for patients, and therefore rarely make recommendations.

In 2015, a state report shows that naturopaths and homeopaths recommended nearly 88 percent of all medical marijuana patients in Arizona, while MDs and DOs–in violation of federal law–recommended just 12 percent. As soon as Arizona’s MDs and DOs learn that they can’t legally recommend medical marijuana they will cease making recommendations.

If the Arizona medical marijuana industry were to lose 88 percent of its patients, or even 50 percent, a vast majority of Arizona dispensaries would not be able to continue operating. Arizonans seeking relief from health ailments would be forced to return to the black market to purchase marijuana from cartels. Ultimately, Arizona’s medical marijuana program would be completely destroyed.

It is up to the citizens of Arizona to take action today and demand that its politicians throw out HCR2019 immediately.

Please contact Rep. Jay Lawrence today and tell him to throw out bill HCR2019.

Also, please contact your local representative today and tell him/her to support you by helping to throw out Rep. Jay Lawrence‘s bill, HCR2019.