Arizona Approves Medical Marijuana But Struggles

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Arizona pproves medical marijuana but strugles with who can legally medical marijuana and who will beable to legally dispense it. The law allows people legally grow it qualified people to legally buy it and smoke it and it also allows the feds the right to arrest you and raid dispenasaries.

Greg Rogan who owns and runs The Medicine Shoppe wants to be pone of the 124 non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries stated, "We know people that have benefited from the use of it and still do. It's is a medicine and we want to treat it like a medicine."

The Arizona Department of Health Services Will Humble said "The department is going to go ahead and get started with some of the implementation duties. Teams of employees will try to ensure the new regulations are in place by April, but it could take longer for medical marijuana cardholders to get the drug from a licensed dispensary."

The problem is that the state law contradicts federal law. Under the law, the feds can still consider marijuana a dangerous drug and therefore not a medicine approved by the Food & Drug Administration. "I think people are under the impression that Prop. 203 (Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act) legalized marijuana in the state and it didn't.," said Rogan. "It just released them from prosecution by the state."

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Roy Spece, University of Arizona Law Professor, warns any dispensary owners that if they are arrested, arguing selection prosecution it will probably be a loosing defense. He stated about dispensaries, "And they should be aware that the state law can not trump the federal law,"

The new Arizona law states "all dispensaries must purchase their inventory from a licensed cultivation facility within the state of Arizona. The number of dispensaries will be tied directly to the number of pharmacies in the state. Based on current figures, there would be 124 eligible dispensary licenses, or one-tenth the number of pharmacies. In addition, every county must have at least one dispensary."

Arizona is the 15th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana, Humble feels that Arizona might be better off than some states because it has "learned from the mistakes of other states."

Meanwhile, Arizona approves medical marijuana but strugles with the content of the law, how employees should treat users and how feds will treat dispensaries.

KGUN 9 News
Benson News-Sun

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