Medical Marijuana Implementation inside the State of Arizona

I wouldn’t be the right attorney unless I prefaced this short article with several disclaimers: one) Marijuana remains a controlled routine I substance and is illegal within the eyes of the Federal Government of the United States; 2) This information is to never be construed as legal advice, nor is intended to take the place of the advice of a lawyer, and you need to consult with a lawyer 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 particular men and women from controlled substances laws and regulations in the State of Arizona. Nonetheless, it will still take some time before medical marijuana is carried out as policy in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services has released a proposed timeline for the drafting of the rules that surround the implementation of Proposition 203. Up to now, these’re the main time periods that needs to be paid close attention to:

December seventeen, 2010: The initial draft of the medical marijuana rules ought to be introduced as well as made available for comment on this particular date.

January 7, 2011: This would be the deadline for public comment on the very first draft of rules stated above.

January 31, 2011: The second draft of the rules will be released on this date. Just as before, it is going to be offered for informal comment as in the draft referred to above.

February 21 to March eighteen, 2011: More formal public hearings will be kept about the proposed rules at this time, and after that the ultimate regulations will be posted to the Secretary of State and made public on the office of Administrative Rules site.

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

It is important that at all times throughout the consultation procedure, interested parties submit briefs and/or make dental presentations when permitted. Groups with interests contrary to those of medical marijuana proponents could also be making presentations, and is likely to convince the State to unnecessarily limit the substance or even those who might qualify to access it if there’s no sound to advocate in favor of patients’ rights.

Certain key points about Proposition 203’s effects

-Physicians may prescribe medical marijuana for their clients under certain conditions. “Physician” shouldn’t be determined in a way limited to regular medical doctors. Osteopaths licensed under Title thirty two, Chapter seventeen; naturopaths certified under Title thirty two, Chapter fourteen; as well as homeopaths licensed under Title thirty two, Chapter twenty nine may all be qualified to advocate marijuana for the patients of theirs.

-In order being recommended medical marijuana, someone should be a “qualifying patient.” A qualifying client is identified as someone that has been recognized by a “physician” (as described above) as obtaining a “debilitating medical condition.”

-Debilitating medical conditions include: • Cancer, glaucoma, HIV positive condition, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, or even agitation of Alzheimer’s sickness or the treatment of these conditions.
• A chronic or debilitating medical condition or disease or perhaps its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or perhaps wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent and severe muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
• Any other medical condition or its therapy put in by the Department of Health Services pursuant to Section 36 2801.01.

This last qualifying condition is underlined as it’s vitally important during the rulemaking process. Although Proposition 203 provides for the public to petition the Department of Health Services to exercise the discretion of its to add problems under this area, bureaucracy is notoriously challenging to get to change any law. The first discretionary rules for additional therapies could be worked out during the public consultations which usually arise between March and December, although this is not certain.

It is thus important that, within the event that the addition of medical ailments is during the consultations, any stakeholder who wishes for a medical condition not listed in the very first 2 bulleted products above to lobby during the public consultation periods for the Department to put in the additional medical condition to the list of debilitating medical conditions. So as to improve the stature of any presentations made to justify adding medical conditions under Section 36-2801.01, it may be useful to solicit the testimony of sympathetic Arizona-licensed medical doctors who could testify on paper as well as at the public hearings about why the suggested condition must be added. Documents showing that various other jurisdictions, both in the Country and elsewhere, now use marijuana as cure for the suggested problem may be useful, as would medical journals on the subject matter.

It must be remembered that despite the cheery YouTube videos of his about the medical marijuana rule drafting process, Director of Health Services Will Humble wrote a submission in opposition to the passing of Proposition 203. He did and so on the grounds that the FDA doesn’t test the drug, and even if the federal government’s anti marijuana policy is well known it should not be relied on as an expert for unbiased medical marijuana research. There is no reason at all to believe that Director Humble will be any less willing to obstruct the use of medical marijuana during the rulemaking phase, and most proponents of medical marijuana must be certain to make their voices heard at the consultations to avoid the obstruction of the intention of Proposition 203.
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Extent of Rulemaking during Consultations

There are more provisions in Proposition 203 which will probably be discussed during the initial rulemaking process, and they’ll most likely be the major focus of the consultations. The consultations will produce rules:
• Governing how the Department of Health Services will acknowledge the petitions from the public previously stated, regarding the fact of health issues on the list of the currently enshrined debilitating medical conditions.
• Establishing the sort and articles of registration and renewal applications submitted under the medical marijuana law.
• Governing how the Department is going to consider applications for & renewals of medical marijuana ID cards.
• Governing the different factors around the freshly legalized nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, oversight, security, including recordkeeping, along with other requirements.
• Establishing the fees for patient applications and medical marijuana dispensary applications.

One of the most essential part of the consultation time will be about the rules governing the establishment as well as oversight of medical marijuana dispensaries. If interest groups lobby the Department in order to make other requirements, oversight, security, and the recordkeeping around dispensaries too restrictive, it will have the effect of reducing the supply of medical marijuana to customers and cruising up the price tag of medical marijuana because of the loss of supply. It might simply become overly costly to comply with all of the laws.

During this stage, it is essential that stakeholders-particularly medical marijuana dispensaries from out-of-state, and maybe pharmacists with a bit of financial knowledge submit briefs explaining why a few proposed regulations may have a negative affect on the patients this Proposition is thought to help. The proposed rules have not come out yet, however when they do, they must be closely scrutinized for the possible destructive impact that unnecessarily durable security and recordkeeping on nonprofit dispensaries could have on clients.

The other major component in the rulemaking is going to have to do with the fees. The Department will be setting fees for medical marijuana dispensaries during the session period. Proposition 203 provides that the fees wouldn’t exceed $5,000 per primary program, as well as $1,000 per renewal. However, with some lobbying in the public consultation, it is possible that the actual service fees will be much less since these are merely the greatest that the Department may charge.

Discrimination against Medical Marijuana Users

Under Proposition 203, discrimination against medical marijuana users is prohibited in certain circumstances. According to the analysis of ours, a person may not:

• As a school or perhaps landlord, refuse to enlist someone or perhaps otherwise penalize them exclusively for their status as a medical marijuana cardholder, unless not doing this would result in the loss associated with a monetary or perhaps licensing related reward under federal regulations or law.
• As an employer, discriminate against getting somebody, or perhaps terminate them or even impose some conditions on them as they are a medical marijuana cardholder, unless not doing so would contribute to the loss of a monetary or perhaps licensing associated reward under federal regulations or law. Employers may nonetheless end workers if the staff is in possession of or damaged by marijuana on the premises of the location of work or even during the time of employment.
• As a medical care provider, discriminate against a cardholder, including in concerns of organ transplants. Medical marijuana need to be managed as other medication prescribed by a doctor.
• Be stopped, as a cardholder, from getting visitation custody or perhaps visitation or parenting time with some, unless the cardholder’s behavior “creates an unreasonable danger to the protection of the minor as established by clear and convincing evidence.”
While there are certain prohibitions on discrimination, there are also provisions which often permit discrimination against medical marijuana cardholders: • Government medical assistance programs as well as personal health insurers are not required to reimburse someone for the medical marijuana use of theirs.
• Nobody who possesses property, including business proprietors, is necessary to allow medical marijuana on their premises (this apparently includes landlords who, even thought they cannot refuse tenants based on their becoming a cardholder, are permitted to avoid cardholders from getting marijuana onto the landlord’s property).
• Employers are not needed to allow cardholders to be under the influence of or ingest marijuana while working, nonetheless, the presence of marijuana in the body and that is simply not associated with a sufficient concentration to cause impairment does not establish being under the effect of it.

Rules Related to the Establishment of Dispensaries

Although the final rules around safety, recordkeeping, along with other demands for medical marijuana dispensaries will not be started until April 2011, you will find some requirements that are enshrined in Proposition 203 itself and also can be known in advance of the time that the final rules come out. These minimal requirements aren’t as hard to stick to as the final requirements which are published in April 2011.

• Medical marijuana dispensaries must be nonprofit. They have to have bylaws which protect their nonprofit characteristics, nevertheless, they need not be considered tax-exempt by the IRS, none must they be incorporated.
• The operating documents of the dispensaries should may include provisions for the oversight of the dispensary and for accurate recordkeeping.
• The dispensary should have a single secure entrance and must put into action right security measures to deter and prevent the theft of marijuana and unauthorized access to areas that contain marijuana.
• A dispensary mustn’t acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense marijuana for any purpose other than providing it straight to a cardholder or to a registered caregiver for the cardholder.
• All taking care of marijuana have to take place just at a locked, enclosed facility at an actual address offered to the Department of Health Services during the application process, and accessible only by dispensary agents registered with the Department.
• A dispensary can obtain marijuana from a patient of the caregiver of theirs, but just if the patient or perhaps caregiver receives no compensation for it.
• No consumption of marijuana is permitted on the home of the dispensary.
• A dispensary is subject to affordable inspection by the Department of Health Services. The Department have got to first render reasonable notice of the evaluation to the dispensary.

Comparison to California’s Medical Marijuana Law

The Arizona law is by no means the same as the law in California. There are surely some differences between the two, nevertheless, in some respects they’re comparable. This is a comparative analysis of the 2 laws.

• Both laws, as an useful matter, allow for broad discretion on the part of a doctor to prescribe marijuana to patients who suffer from pain. In the Arizona law, “severe and continual pain” is definitely the legislated standard. In the California law, any “chronic or even chronic healthcare symptom” that substantially limits the life of the individual to conduct one or more major life activities as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or even that if not reduced, will result in serious harm to the patient’s physical or psychological safety, qualifies.
• Both laws have a variety of illnesses that are automatically considered qualifying illnesses because of the prescription of medical marijuana. These include, but aren’t limited to, AIDS, cachexia, cancer, glaucoma, persistent muscle tissue spasms, seizures, and severe nausea.
• Both laws require the use of an identification card by people who are prescribed medical marijuana, after the cardholders have undergone an initial application process in which the use of the medication has been suggested by a physician.
• Both states do not consider the unusable part of the marijuana grow in identifying the optimum weight of marijuana that is permissible for possession by a cardholder.

• Though the rules have not been finalized, the Arizona law appears as though it will be managed along the state level and consequently uniform across Arizona. The California law, nevertheless, is regulated substantially along the municipal level, and thus the rules around dispensaries are able to vary tremendously from one municipality to the following.
• The Arizona law provides a wider spectrum of individuals that are considered a “physician” for the objective of prescribing medical marijuana. In California, just medical doctors & osteopaths are regarded as being physicians. In Arizona, additionally to medical doctors and osteopaths, naturopaths and homeopaths will also be allowed to recommend medical marijuana.
• In California, individuals or perhaps the caregivers of theirs may perhaps grow marijuana plants in lieu of utilizing a medical marijuana dispensary. In Arizona, individuals may just grow marijuana or even designate someone else to do this in lieu of going to a dispensary on the condition that there is no dispensary operating within 25 far of the patient’s house.
• The highest possession limit for marijuana in California is 8 ounces per affected person, whereas the limit is simply 2.5 ounces per patient in Arizona.

-This isn’t meant to be legal advice and it is provided solely as an assessment of the current legislation. You ought to talk to an attorney to discuss these things. We’re out there for consultations for this particular subject by appointment only as well as via prepayment of the session fee.

I wouldn’t be the right attorney unless I prefaced this short article with several disclaimers: one) Marijuana remains a controlled routine I substance and is illegal within the eyes of the Federal Government of the United States; 2) This information is to never be construed as legal advice, nor is intended to take the place…

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