Group Wants Medical Pot on Ballot in 2010

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  Group Wants Medical Pot on Ballot in 2010

Posted by CN Staff on April 22, 2009 at 05:55:31 PT
By Daniel Scarpinato, Arizona Daily Star 
Source: Arizona Daily Star  

Phoenix, AZ -- A doctor's note will allow Arizonans to buy marijuana — or even grow the drug in their home — if a national group seeking voter approval gets its way next year. The group has drafted a measure they hope to get on the 2010 ballot that would legalize medical marijuana here and set up a system of non-profit "dispensaries."Supporters say marijuana use has great benefits for people suffering from serious illnesses ranging from cancer to HIV. But critics have long argued legalizing medical use is a step towards full legalization of a drug they see as a "gateway" to more serious addictions.
If the backers get their measure on next year's ballot, it will mark the fourth time since 1996 Arizona voters have a chance to weigh-in on the issue."It's the right thing to do," said Andrew Myers, the Arizona campaign manager hired by the national Marijuana Policy Project. "It provides a level of mercy to these people who are suffering and dying."Organizers have yet to submit draft language to the Secretary of State's Office. But Myers said the initiative would say if someone were to get a "recommendation" from a licensed physician they could not be prosecuted in the state for marijuana possession.There's two ways patients could get their hands on the pot: Either at the non-profit dispensaries, or if they're 25 miles away from one, they could grow the drug in their own home.Those using the drug would still be violating federal law — which is why doctors can't give a prescription like other drugs — but on the state level, it would be legal."We shouldn't be interfering with the doctor-patient relationship," Myers said.Arizonans have showed a willingness to legalize the practice for medical purposes before. In 1996, voters approved medical marijuana — only to see the Legislature essentially repeal the law afterward.Two years later, voters re-ratified the '96 measure. But despite that, doctors have been unwilling to prescribe the drug because of the threat of losing their license.A 2002 initiative with a provision to reduce the penalty for possession of up to two ounces to a fine was rejected by voters.This time supporters say they've worked out the legal issues by avoiding the mention of prescriptions. And there are other elements in the measure to win voters over. The state could only issue licenses for 120 dispensaries, none of which could be within 500 feet of a school."We're sensitive to the public's concerns about these facilities," said Myers, adding of the 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana, none have legalized it for recreational use.But some are still skeptical.State Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu, says he doesn't have a problem with people using marijuana for medical purposes.But he said the dispensaries — similar to a system used in California — are prone to abuse."I think that's actually how they abuse it," Gould said — although he says doctors prescribe other drugs that are more addictive and dangerous than pot.Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, says even if the move is a step toward legalization, she's not threatened, pointing to some of the greater societal effects she sees from alcohol.A champion of legalizing assisted suicide, Lopez said the state shouldn't try to be "medical arbiters.""Marijuana has been very helpful for people to deal with pain," she said.The group has until July 2010 to gather more than 150,000 signatures.Source: Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ)Author: Daniel Scarpinato, Arizona Daily StarPublished: April 22, 2009Copyright: 2009 Arizona Daily StarContact: letters azstarnet.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on April 23, 2009 at 11:29:21 PT
This Is Not Helpful For California
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 23, 2009 at 07:51:07 PT
That's so funny. ☺Curly Cow Ski
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on April 23, 2009 at 07:32:49 PT
KerlikowskeCurly Cow Ski.Kerli kow ske.Kerlikowske.☺
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 23, 2009 at 06:46:38 PT
I don't want anyone to go to prison but know the laws and act accordingly. Lynch probably will not go to prison today because they are filing an appeal. The longer it takes the better chance that he won't go to prison. When Obama gets his new drug czar and policy in place he might be pardoned. 
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Comment #12 posted by GeoChemist on April 23, 2009 at 04:09:45 PT
The point's ok to torture another human being but use a plant and you'll go to prison.....generally we are peaceful people, to peaceful in my opinion, which makes us "easy pickins" for law enforcement. Keep the collective foot on the throats of prohibs and DON'T let up. The Charles Lynch and selling to those who are under-age is a misnomer, the age considered under-age is flexible when dealing with the Nazis, sometimes it's 18, sometimes 21 depending on the number that fits the prohibs needs.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 22, 2009 at 16:28:30 PT
OT: A Smiling Car
This is really cute. It wouldn't work for us because of the low speed limit and only 30 miles to a charge but it made me smile.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on April 22, 2009 at 14:11:42 PT
Comment 9
Gut bustin Lol!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 22, 2009 at 14:09:56 PT
I call him Gil because I can't remember how to spell his last name! LOL!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 22, 2009 at 14:09:02 PT
I think because of the volume of money he turned in such a short time frame and selling to underage children just doesn't settle with the courts. If he did sell to children like I read that would be a no go in my opinion. If all the parents of minors allowed their children to purchase marijuana that would be different and that I am not sure of. 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 22, 2009 at 14:08:35 PT
 ☺ Gil?
"Gil hasn't even been sworn in yet and you know the right will do everything they can to de-rail his appointment."
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 22, 2009 at 14:01:00 PT
I kind of did.
"As far as Lynch goes did anyone really expect he would not go to prison?"
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 22, 2009 at 12:55:36 PT

Lynch and Obama
I guess I don't understand when people talk like Obama is just one of the guys. He was elected by a wide majority. He will fix what he can fix after he fixes health care and other very important issues on the table. As far as Lynch goes did anyone really expect he would not go to prison? I feel sorry for him but the lesson should be learned not to run ahead of the law and then be surprised when it all comes tumbling down. I believe many more busts will happen and many more particularly in California will go to prison. Wishing a law wasn't on the books is living in a dream. I hope Michigan uses discretion and learns that getting a medical marijuana law on the books still won't allow pot shops. I think dreaming of making a lot of money seems to blind people to the facts. We must change the federal law and get marijuana re-scheduled. Maybe that will happen under Webb's Bill or under the new administrations drug policy when it finally is in place. Gil hasn't even been sworn in yet and you know the right will do everything they can to de-rail his appointment. The republicans/conservatives want to keep locking up people and that probably won't ever change or at least not for many years.
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Comment #4 posted by GeoChemist on April 22, 2009 at 12:21:33 PT

Call the White House comment line
and you will actually get to talk to a person who will take your comment......I am urging everyone to call about the administrations suggestion of 5 years minimum for Mr. Lynch for operating a legal business while the CIA officials that carried out and the lawers that authorized the torture of detainees walk. (202) 456-1111....
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Comment #3 posted by josephlacerenza on April 22, 2009 at 12:15:00 PT

I was wondering if you know what it would take the president/AG, other than a set of political balls, to expand the fed program. Or, did papa bush put it to rest? 
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on April 22, 2009 at 11:06:12 PT

I agree Sam
That is strange language even for the draft legislation.
Such a requirement would be immediately challenged I think.All people need the same choice in the matter, in the interest of fairness. One should be able to choose to grow their own and reduce costs if they so wish and have the capability. Other sources such as a form of dispensary should be provided for those who are incapable of, or wish not to have the burden of growing their own.As an option or safety net, maybe the Federal Government should expand their Compassionate Use program and provide low cost cannabis from the University of Mississippi for those who cannot bear the cost. They already have the system in place. People still get so silly over medical marijuana "safe guards". How about just applying some common sense.

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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on April 22, 2009 at 09:00:14 PT

25 miles????
yikes, I sure don't like this choice from MPP. Is this their new strategy? No growing your own medicine anymore?Big mistake and the wrong precedent to set IMO. Now some bureaucrat will have to get a map out and start triangulating to figure out how far each patient is from a dispensary.What happens when a new dispensary opens? Do the cops come and make you cut down your plants? VERY poor choice of language.

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