We all know that 14 states in the United States, and countries like Italy, Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Israel, and Finland have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana. in November 2010, a law legalizing the usage as well as the possession of marijuana in Arizona only for the medical purposes was passed which made it to be the fifteenth state to allow such kind of law.
Just like the other 14 states, patients must apply for a medical marijuana identification card. To do this he or she must be a “qualified patient” meaning that he or she should have a chronic or debilitating disease. Patients must acquire a written recommendation from a doctor, homeopaths, osteopaths, or naturopaths specializing and licensed to recommend medical marijuana treatment. This doctor should also provide a written documentation about the said recommendation, his reasons to give such, and his signature affixed. Once they have the two documents, they can apply for a card. However, not all consultations end up in medical marijuana recommendation.
However, laws covering medical marijuana in Arizona still need further amendment as there are overlapping laws regarding the legality of the drug particularly in cases of driving under the influence of marijuana. Medicinal marijuana cardholders may still violate the law notwithstanding legality. This is just one of the ambivalence that law-makers in Arizona should clarify. Moreover, if you reside in Arizona and plan to drive without repercussion even with a card, you should at least hire an accident lawyer.
Proposition 203, the medical marijuana initiative, passed in Arizona as of the November 2010 elections. An amazing demonstration of how every vote counts, it passed by less than 5,000 votes. This means that in Arizona, doctors can prescribe marijuana to patients and they can receive legal marijuana for medicinal use.
Medical marijuana was a hotly contested issue. Proposition 203 specifically allows for doctor prescribed marijuana use in the following cases (source is the AZ Department of Health Services):
Long story short, a person needs to contact a doctor who will sign a certificate stating that a person has a debilitating disease which may be treated with marijuana. The person would then receive a medical marijuana card through the AZ Department of Health Services and could purchase the drug from a nonprofit registered dispensary like Encanto Green Cross Dispensary in Phoenix.
Marijuana will still not be allowed for personal use in non-medical situations.
What does this mean for Arizona? The Grand Canyon State has joined fifteen other states and the District of Columbia this year in legalizing medical pot. It is still at odds, however, with the federal law which classifies marijuana as an illegal controlled substance. This means that while state law may effectively facilitate the use of marijuana in medical circumstances, that person is still technically in violation of federal law.
In California, which has led the way for medical marijuana policies, there have been several cases of people growing marijuana under the state law and still being prosecuted by the federal government. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal agencies regularly conduct raids on dispensaries, leading to some conflict between state and federal legislatures.
This will require great care to be taken in Arizona by those wishing to consume medical marijuana. Purchasing an amount which by federal law could be considered trafficking should be carefully considered in light of the potential repercussions. Some cases in California have resulted in between one and five years in a federal penitentiary.The Act does not authorize anybody to attempt any task under the influence of marijuana that could constitute neglectfulness or professional malpractice.
If you’ve been charged with a federal crime relating to marijuana, contact a reputable criminal attorney immediately. A criminal lawyer will evaluate your case, often at no cost, and represent your issues in the courtroom. This area of law is still hotly contested, and if you find yourself in trouble with contrasting laws you need adequate representation to protect your interests.
As for medical marijuana dispensaries, they should be registered as non-profit. They must have documents that prove their legal operation. They should distribute medicinal marijuana solely to qualified patients who have a valid card as well as to their eligible primary caregivers. Acquiring, cultivating, processing, manufacturing, or delivering them for other purposes makes them answerable to the law.