Arizona petitioners have attempted to get Parkinson’s disease on the list of qualifying conditions for the Arizona medical marijuana program, but were rejected by the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS). However, this week, a judge ruled that the denial by AZDHS was wrongly dismissed.
Judge Dorinda Lang said, “In a desire for professionalism, the department has utilized a standard or proof that is higher than the rules call for.”
In 2015, according to Phoenix New Times, a group of nurses submitted petitions to include an additional 8 qualifying conditions to the medical marijuana program. Nurses have worked to appeal decisions denying the petitions for patients with both Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. A former Tucson dispensary principal and attorney, Ken Sobel, is working pro-bono on these cases to help change the decision by the AZDHS.
Measures are only required to submit evidence to request a hearing, which the nurses did. Two studies were submitted as evidence, only one was really needed.
Sobel said, in response to the fight to get these hearings scheduled, that “it’s bittersweet, because we shouldn’t have to fight this. They use patients’ money to act against patients’ interests.”
The Judge has given AZDHS a period of 30 days to make a decision as to what step to take next.
Sobel continued with, “They have no intellectual curiosity about the subject – only political motive. They’ll do everything they can to reject new qualifications.”
A few celebrities with Parkinson’s disease are Michael J. Fox, Muhammed Ali, and Johnny Cash.