Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) opened the door to medical marijuana years ago, but will not budge on opening it any more in 2014.
ADHS rejected a proposed expansion – adding illnesses to the list of approved marijuana-treated conditions – of the state’s medical marijuana program more than 3 years after approving the Act which allows the use of medical marijuana, with a 50.13 percent approval.
The state’s current policy on medical marijuana is protected by Proposition 203, which was passed in November 2010 and put into effect in April 2011. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act removes state-level criminal penalties on the use of marijuana for qualifying patients who have received “written certification” from their physician to alleviate symptoms of chronic conditions and illnesses.
Among these illnesses, include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease; any medical condition producing cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, and severe nausea or seizures.
A recent petition in 2014 suggested adding post traumatic stress disorder, migraines and depression to the list of medical marijuana approved conditions, but it was shot down by the state’s Department of Health Services Director, Will Humble.
Current medical marijuana cardholders are permitted to purchase, and have on their person, up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana in a 14 day period.
According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, usable marijuana consists of “the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant and does not include the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.”
Although the qualifying patients are protected under Arizona law, they must adhere to the rules set by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The law prohibits driving or operating a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft while under the influence, ingesting marijuana in a public place or on public transportation, and cultivation of more than 12 marijuana plants in a “locked and enclosed facility” only if the patient is not within 25 miles of a dispensary.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not require employers or landowners to allow the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace on on their private property, but it does protect against discriminatory acts that affect the hiring, leasing or treatment of a qualifying patient.