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Arizona MMJ Law Has Patient Protections In Case of Federal Crackdown

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Prop 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, has protections built into it that will help safeguard medical marijuana patients in the event of a federal crackdown.

A crackdown on medical marijuana is unlikely, but if Arizona’s medical marijuana program were terminated by the feds, the state has laws that will protect medical marijuana patients and allow them to continue having access to medical marijuana. Tucson.com reports:

As approved by voters, the 2010 law allows people with certain specified medical conditions to be certified by the state to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks, buying it through state-licensed dispensaries.

The law also says if the Arizona Department of Health Services fails to issue a medical-marijuana-user identification card within 45 days of getting a valid application or renewal, the card “shall be deemed issued” and a copy of the application qualifies as a valid ID card.

A separate section says if the health department is not accepting applications, people can effectively self-certify by providing the same required information in a notarized statement along with the written certification of a physician that the patient needs the drug.

Governor Ducey, however, has always been against the voter-approved medical marijuana law. He said, “I’ve always thought we should enforce federal law, just like we should enforce state law.”

That, then, goes to the question of what happens if federal agents crack down on growers and dispensers and there’s no place for medical-marijuana patients to buy it.

Here, too, the Arizona law has a remedy: Patients can simply grow their own.

The statute contains a provision allowing those who are not within 25 miles of a dispensary to grow up to 12 plants for their own use. If there are no dispensaries, the more than 151,000 people who already have state-issued medical-marijuana cards — and those who would self-certify in the future if the health department balks — all would be at least 25 miles from a state dispensary and all free to grow their own [marijuana].

Photo: greenrushdaily.com