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2 Arizona Lawmakers Want To Make It More Difficult To Access Medical Marijuana

Photo by Lauren Saria

Photo by Lauren Saria

Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, and Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale have both started pushing to make it more difficult to obtain medical marijuana for certain groups. Here’s the kicker, it may be illegal since the medical marijuana law was put in place by voters not the legislature.


The Arizona Constitution spells out that voter-approved measures can be altered only with a super-majority vote. It’s possible that Townsend and Lawrence could get that margin.

But any change needs to “further the purpose” of the original measure.

Rep. Kelly Townsend is trying to make it illegal for a pregnant woman to use medical marijuana, regardless if her doctor says it would be beneficial. Essentially overruling the doctor’s orders for the patient. Ridiculous!

Rep. Jay Lawrence would like to make it so only allopathic and osteopathic physicians can write medical marijuana recommendations. As it stands now, naturopaths and homeopaths are allowed to recommend medical marijuana to their patients, but if Rep. Jay Lawrence gets his way, this will change.

It truly is a shame these lawmakers can’t just respect the voter’s and leave us be.

What MMJ Patients Need To Know About Arizona DUI Laws

After proposition 203 passed in 2010, there was the issue of figuring out how to deal with MMJ patients and existing DUI laws. The problem of course is that the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) stays in a persons system for weeks, sometimes months, even if you use the medicine sparingly. This means that a person can fail a urinalysis and not even be impaired at the time of the test.

This is problematic because some MMJ patients were being charged with DUI’s for failing a urinalysis. There was even a a state Court of Appeals in 2013 that gave law enforcement the right to prosecute marijuana users even if there was no evidence of impairment.

This has all changed as of April, 2014 when the state Supreme Court ruled that authorities can’t “prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop”.

Via The Huffington Post:

Authorities can’t prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.

The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.

The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.

Some prosecutors had warned that anyone in Arizona who used medical marijuana simply shouldn’t drive or they would risk facing DUI charges, a contention that drew the ire of pot advocates who claimed this interpretation of the law criminalized their legal use of the drug after voters approved it in 2010.

Tuesday’s state Supreme Court opinion removed that threat in explaining that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law….” [Continue Reading]

In conclusion, as long as you make sure to never drive for several hours after medicating with marijuana, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting a DUI. With that said, this post is not meant to serve as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer.

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