Medical Marijuana Implementation in the State of Arizona

I wouldn’t be a good attorney unless I prefaced this article with a few disclaimers: 1) Marijuana is still a controlled schedule I substance and is illegal in the eyes of the Federal Government of the United States; 2) This article is not to be construed as legal advice, nor is intended to take the place of the advice of an attorney, and you should consult with an attorney before taking any actions in furtherance of the subject matter of this article. Ok, let’s begin.

In the month of November, the State of Arizona passed Proposition 203, which would exempt certain people from controlled substances laws in the State of Arizona. However, it will still take some time before medical marijuana is implemented as policy in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services has released a proposed timeline for the drafting of the rules surrounding the implementation of Proposition 203. So far, these are the important time periods that should be paid close attention to:

December 17, 2010: The first draft of the medical marijuana rules should be released and made available for comment on this date.

January 7, 2011: This will be the deadline for public comment on the first draft of rules mentioned above.

January 31, 2011: The second draft of the rules will be released on this date. Once again, it will be available for informal comment as in the draft referred to above.

February 21 to March 18, 2011: More formal public hearings will be held about the proposed rules at this time, after which the final rules will be submitted to the Secretary of State and made public on the Office of Administrative Rules website. marihuana kaufen online 

April 2011: The medical marijuana rules will go into effect and be published in the Arizona Administrative Register.

It is important that at all times throughout the consultation process, interested parties submit briefs and/or make oral presentations when permitted. Groups with interests contrary to those of medical marijuana advocates may also be making presentations, and may convince the State to unnecessarily restrict the substance or those who may qualify to access it if there is no voice to advocate in favor of patients’ rights.

Some key points about Proposition 203’s effects

-Physicians may prescribe medical marijuana for their patients under certain conditions. “Physician” is not defined in a way limited to normal medical doctors. Osteopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 17; naturopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 14; and homeopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 29 may all be eligible to recommend marijuana for their patients.

-In order to be prescribed medical marijuana, a person must be a “qualifying patient.” A qualifying patient is defined as someone who has been diagnosed by a “physician” (as defined above) as having a “debilitating medical condition.”

-Debilitating medical conditions include:
• Cancer, glaucoma, HIV positive status, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, or agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions.