Pubdate: Sat, 09 Nov 2002
Source: Anderson Independent-Mail (SC)
Copyright: 2002 Independent Publishing Company, a division of E.W. Scripps
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


Arizona voters approved a hike in the state's tobacco tax Tuesday, while 
turning down a measure that would have eased up on marijuana laws. While 
consideration of marijuana for medical reasons isn't that unusual these 
days, the Arizona proposal called for the state to be required to 
distribute marijuana free of charge if for medical reasons.

There is substantial research into the benefits of medical marijuana, 
especially for cancer patients, but apparently Arizona thought it was just 
so much smoke and mirrors and decided to pass on passage.

Arizona does have what might be considered both an innovative and worthy 
alternative to jail time for first-time drug offenders, offering treatment 
as opposed to incarceration. Another facet of the law would have allowed 
judges to send offenders to prison if they refused treatment.

The additional money generated by raising the tobacco tax will go to 
low-income healthcare, trauma centers and medical research.

South Carolina legislators might give Arizona's decision a healthy dose of 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D