Arizona lawmakers voted this week in favor of requiring cigarette-like warning labels on medical marijuana products and adding a 5% tax to medical marijuana sales. The tax revenue would be used to study any presumed connections between marijuana use and violent behavior and schizophrenia.
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley said the bill doesn’t attempt to ascertain any positive effects that cannabis can provide, nor does it require the studies be performed in a scientific way that are subject to peer review.
“Not everybody’s going to be paranoid schizophrenic,” said House Speaker Rusty Bowers, the creator of the bill. “But a lot of people are.”
Bowers is not an expert on marijuana. He just happened to have read the anti-marijuana book “Tell Your Children” and then decided to draft HCR 2045 based off his reading. However, that book has been highly criticized by Columbia University, Harvard Medical School and groups of scientists and researchers for its false reporting of marijuana.
Bowers initially introduce HCR 2045 with language that attempted to limit medical marijuana to 2% THC. This would’ve essentially destroyed the state’s medical marijuana program because all medical marijuana in the state would have such a low potency.
The bill still needs to be voted on in the House and given final approval. Fortunately, Arizonans will get the last say in the matter because if the bill is approved it will end up on November ballots (alongside the Smart & Safe Arizona ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana).
Contact your local representative to convey your opinions on cannabis issues.