MMJ: Arizona Tries To Keep Reins Tight 
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MMJ: Arizona Tries To Keep Reins Tight 
Posted by CN Staff on June 07, 2012 at 18:29:38 PT
By Fernanda Santos
Source: New York Times
Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Soon after health officials announced they would dole out Arizona’s first licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, Ryan Hurley, co-chairman of the medical marijuana practice at the Rose Law Group here, noticed a common trait among some of the people most eager to enlist his services: They were already in the business in other states. There was a family who owns dispensaries in Washington State. There was an investor from Los Angeles who has a stake in several California dispensaries. There was a disabled Navy veteran who makes a living running a medical marijuana delivery service in San Diego.
Arizona has one of the country’s strictest set of requirements governing the sale of medical marijuana — and, Mr. Hurley said, they were all looking to tap into its market because of that. “There’s a sense of legitimacy that comes from having so many rules,” he said. Medical marijuana programs exist in a gray area. They are legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia, but illegal under federal law, where selling and consuming marijuana, even if for therapeutic purposes, is still a crime. It is a risky undertaking: In California, where rules governing the business are particularly lax, medical marijuana ventures have been targets of raids. In Arizona, it is a costly and cumbersome enterprise. Dispensaries have to abide by zoning regulations that change from one municipality to the next. Applicants must offer detailed plans on how to secure, store and track the marijuana they hope to sell. They have to offer educational materials, which is standard practice, and hire a medical director to supervise the operation, the only requirement of its kind in the country. “A physician can get involved in how it’s being used as medicine on a day-to-day basis, and that’s the big kicker here. If you’re going to use cannabis as medicine, you’ve got to be able to understand the science and also apply the science,” said Michael Backes, director of research and development for Abatin, a consultant to three dispensaries in California that have applied to open two more in Arizona. There is a limit to the number of dispensary licenses the state will give out in this first phase: 126, one for each of the geographic regions carved out by health officials. For the state, it prevents the marijuana business from becoming too expansive, as happened in California and Colorado, before Colorado legislators passed laws to control it. California is still struggling to tighten its rules. For prospective dispensary operators like Douglas McCrady, a disabled veteran who applied to open two dispensaries in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, it is “a legitimate way to keep the competition in check.” The requirements were cobbled together from other states that health officials here felt were doing things right: rules on inventory control were inspired by those in Colorado and a requirement that doctors analyze 12 months’ worth of medical records before certifying a patient for medical marijuana use was borrowed from New Jersey. Then there were things they learned from the public, through official and surreptitious means. Will Humble, director of the Arizona Health Services Department, said his staff used a fake Facebook page to monitor the conversation about the state’s medical marijuana program, which is how they got to hear about loopholes they never knew existed. For example, the state gives preference to people who have $150,000 or more in cash for each dispensary application they file; a bank statement would have sufficed as proof the money was there. But people suggested they would just transfer the money from one bank to another, then use the statements to support different applications. The state went on to ask applicants to prove the money had been in the bank for at least 30 days, Mr. Humble said. “There was a fork on the road, really, and to the left would be California, where it’s a free-for-all, where you have a medical marijuana program that’s really a recreational marijuana program,” he said. “We said, look, let’s go to the opposite direction and let’s try to do it right.” Mr. Humble is, by his own admission, the reluctant leader of a program some say could serve as a model for the country, particularly because of its emphasis on medical supervision. He joined Gov. Jan Brewer in a lawsuit last year, asking federal courts to address the conflict between state and federal laws regarding medical marijuana, but the courts dismissed it. The lawsuit followed a threatening letter from the United States attorney’s office in Arizona, saying that “growing, distributing and possessing marijuana in any capacity” is a violation of federal law, “regardless of state laws that purport to permit such activities.” A 2011 letter from the Justice Department made a similar point. For two weeks in May, the state accepted its first applications for dispensary licenses; 484 of them were submitted. Mr. Humble’s office built a computerized program, where patients will have to swipe magnetic cards every time they buy marijuana to make sure they do not exceed the maximum allowance of 2.5 ounces every two weeks. Growers must keep records of how much they are growing; delivery trips would generate a record like a moving company’s bill of lading, listing exactly how much was transported and where. Mr. Humble said the medical directors would make it less likely that dispensaries would “devolve into the type of place where you just come in and get stuff to get stoned.” Still, he went on, “I don’t want to make it sound like it’s a perfect system, that it’s going to be 100 percent medical, because I know it ain’t.” Mr. McCrady, who has multiple sclerosis and uses marijuana to treat its symptoms, said he moved to delivering marijuana in San Diego after being served with eviction notices twice at his dispensaries, both times after federal authorities sent letters to landlords directing them to crack down on “drug-dealing tenants,” he said. He went on, “I was paying taxes, I was trying my best to be legitimate. I served in the Navy, I have no criminal record. Maybe in Arizona I’ll finally be recognized as a business.” Of the 126 dispensary locations made available by the state, 27 — most of them in Indian country and rural areas — did not receive any applications. Several spots had multiple applicants; Flagstaff, in northern Arizona, received 13 applications. Winners will be picked in August, by lottery if there is more than one person vying for the same spot. Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Fernanda SantosPublished: June 7, 2012Copyright: 2012 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #16 posted by runruff on June 11, 2012 at 07:51:50 PT
How quaint.
We have Trekies, techies, foodies, alkies, now we have Heidis.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on June 10, 2012 at 10:56:53 PT
Sorry, Runruff
Looks like Heidi is the name of one of the many thorns in our sides. I did a search on her. Saw what she's been up to for a long time. Saw her on video and in photographs. I'd share the searches with you but I'd rather not ruin your Sunday.Yuck. She's a major, hyper, extremely tyrannical busy body. It's stunning to me how tyrants think they have superior knowledge of the only right way to do things and the right to tyrannize everyone else into complying with their wishes. They really look like monsters to me.
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Comment #14 posted by museman on June 10, 2012 at 09:26:28 PT
You might find this interesting..
 Conspiracy Theories
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Comment #13 posted by Oleg the Tumor on June 10, 2012 at 04:23:02 PT:
O/T, but not really.
I was at a local library the other day, returning a few things, and I notice a big book entitled, "The Mammoth Book of Conspiracy Theories . . . " by a guy named Jon E. Lewis.I picked it up and leafed through the index.
 UFO's? yep.911? Check. Illuminati? read all about it.JFK? Well, everybody has something to say about that.But Cannabis? Zero. Nada. Zilch. No conspiracy here.
Its "screw you" right out in the open.The Conspiracy Theorists have a growing target market to serve. But if you want to get your work published, you have to play the game. Anybody else noticing this trend?". . . one ring to rule them all-and in the darkness-bind them." - J.R.R. Tolkein
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on June 09, 2012 at 17:39:32 PT
Oh my, not Heidie again!
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on June 09, 2012 at 15:53:12 PT
Marijuana law just creates criminals tip to Pete at DrugWarRant.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on June 09, 2012 at 12:57:39 PT
They didn't get everything they wanted.""I'm just so pleased," Heilman said. "I consider this a win for us."
Cordy said the title, which includes "medical use of marijuana," fairly captures the basic thrust of the planned ballot question. He said the summary, which also includes the phrase, fairly includes the main features of the measure.
Opponents said the phrase is misleading because pot is not classified as medicine and is not federally approved."
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on June 09, 2012 at 12:01:59 PT
And... of course...
Not voting Yes on the question means you are all for sick and dying patients being arrested,fined, and given criminal records for using cannabis to alleviate some of their misery and suffering. Perhaps even dragging them out of chemotherapy or their beds to fulfill the requirements of the laws prohibiting the possession or use of the plant. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 09, 2012 at 11:53:28 PT
The GCW , Massachusetts."Cordy said the so-called "yes vote" statement needs to show that it would authorize a system to produce and distribute marijuana, either at centers in the state or at qualifying patients' homes."Maybe this will bring more media attention to the situation and bring out more voters. The thing is, I know this group means this to be an impediment to the question. They believe the people will vote against the cannabis as medicine if they hear about the dreaded "Marijuana Stores!!!"Maybe not though. Maybe reasonable people will say, "Good. I was wondering how they were going to manage it." "I was wondering how they would get the help that cannabis can be to people that just learned they are starting chemo in two weeks. Or the people that are too sick or too unskilled in botany to grow it." "Good. I'm glad this will be more than just a gesture of the people that the government won't prosecute sick people, and their helpers, for use, possession, or procurement, or conspiring to procure the herb, cannabis... in the event they do somehow manage to get their hands on some or are overheard "conspiring" to get some of the plant matter that must be purchased on the black market, in the underground, in secret and stealth.""This is a plan to actually be truly compassionate and helpful. And a few more people will have income earning jobs. Great! I'll vote for this question!"Always hopeful.Also I'd like to see the word cannabis actually used somewhere in the question.Just noticed that I might explain that the quote at the first of this rant came from the article GCW referenced... had to find it another source, though. All the rest are from my thinking what the voters might think about all this.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on June 08, 2012 at 16:47:09 PT
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Orders Change to Ballot Question on Medical Marijuana, there will be safe places for sick citizens to purchase the God-given plant)))
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Comment #6 posted by Oleg the Tumor on June 08, 2012 at 14:59:25 PT:
Wait a frickin' minute here!
"Winners will be picked in August, by lottery if there is more than one person vying for the same spot."References to probability, (lottery) is properly and positively used in conjunction with words like "beer" and "wine", and is a "pejorative reference", (or not good at all) in the realm of "medicine", as in the phrase, " . . . at this stage, your chances are ..." "Meet the new boss . . . same as the old boss . . ."-- The WhoWhat is a "medical marijuana practice at the Rose Law Group"? This could be good or not. I remember how much damage Allen Dulles and his brother, Foster, did in their day as specialty lawyers.Legalize it like alcohol! Quit trying to herd us around! 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 08, 2012 at 14:32:29 PT
Jon Stewart Last Night on Marijuana and Big Sodas
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on June 08, 2012 at 09:40:10 PT
"a sense of legitimacy"
It's the fight against the Mussolini and Nazi like false propaganda that people have been inundated with for decades. So many people just won't believe it's got huge medicinal value just because it's been pounded into their brains for so many years that it doesn't have any value and that there is something wrong with using it. A huge number has been done on cannabis and cannabis users by prohibitionists. People have been brainwashed into thinking cannabis is bad and does no one any good...except the hated and disrespected "druggies","pushers", "dealers", "pot heads" and "drug addicts". It's hard to overcome the monstrosity of it all. We've just recently got to where we don't hear that anyone who smokes pot should be put against a wall and shot... ala that old DARE instigator.Chemo brain has snatched his name from me for the moment. Darrel something? Gates? That's the legitimacy he's talking about. It's hard to unbrainwash people. Really hard. And it's taking a long time and more extreme measures than it ever should have.It shouldn't be this way. It shouldn't have been that the government kills and imprisons and robs people over it. But they did and they do. It's a horrible thing to have to overcome so many lies and distortions. But that's what we've faced and still face. That's why we're "activists" in the first place. Somebody has to fight the true illegitimacy of the war on cannabis and those who would use it and all the injustice and true horror of it.Lord knows, it's been a long and awful battle but maybe it will be easier to keep the truth to the forefront since it's taken so hideously long to get it there... when we get it there... world wide.Prohibitionists are beastly liars and cruel authoritarians... whether they know it or not.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2012 at 09:34:48 PT
NY Times
 this is a statement of pure opinion, it belongs on the editorial page. "Too expansive"...what is that based on? Totally subjective statement. But of course anything that even remotely concerns marijuana prohibition brings out the Times most paternalistic, totalitarian impulses......."There is a limit to the number of dispensary licenses the state will give out in this first phase: 126, one for each of the geographic regions carved out by health officials. For the state, it prevents the marijuana business from becoming too expansive, as happened in California and Colorado, before Colorado legislators passed laws to control it.""Too expansive" means too big for Pharma and the policing industry. "Too expansive" is still way too small for patients...just ask them and you'll find out. Of course the NY Times doesn't have to ask, it is all-knowing.Look for the exciting article about new martinis that taste like children's ice cream in the Arts section! I recently saw an article in there about how "snow cone" martinis are a big hit with adult women in Manhattan these days.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2012 at 09:29:51 PT
Thank you Oleg
I had the exact same reaction, what a frightening statement, this is so typical of the death throes of a fading empire. Are "more rules" going to help us compete with China and other economies?This law represents the New World Order - business opportunities available only to the wealthy, Orwellian control of medicines - welcome to swiping a card for the State to know how much herbal medicine you're using.Getting 12 months of medical records together? That is a huge pain in the neck for chronically ill and disabled people. And everything's got to be renewed every year, with lots of fees to the doctors and State.
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Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on June 08, 2012 at 03:45:31 PT:
This is Crap. Its like a quote from Mussolini!
"There’s a sense of legitimacy that comes from having so many rules,” he said."I am all for getting patients the help they need. 
But of what value is a "sense of legitimacy"? 
 Except maybe to Big Pharma.Remember to change "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" to "a sense of legitimacy" on your copy of the Deck of I. 
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