Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 2009
Source: Arizona Silver Belt (Globe, AZ)
Copyright: 2009 Globe Arizona Silver Belt
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Cited: Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project,


On May 14, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project (AMMPP) filed
language with the Secretary of State's office with the intent to place
the issue of medical marijuana on the November 2010 ballot.

AMMPP's initiative would make the possession of a limited quantity of
marijuana and its use legal under Arizona law for certain severely ill
patients with a doctor's recommendation. "This is a common-sense law
that allows severely ill patients access to medication that they need,
while providing strict controls to make sure this medicine is only
available to qualified patients," said Andrew Myers, campaign manager
for the initiative. "Thousands of patients across Arizona are already
using medical marijuana with their doctor's recommendation. These
patients shouldn't have to risk arrest and jail just for following
their doctor's advice."

Marijuana has been shown to safely and effectively relieve nausea and
vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and treatments for HIV/AIDS and
other illnesses, and to relieve the nerve pain that afflicts millions
suffering from multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. The
prospective law calls for using state-regulated dispensaries to
distribute marijuana to qualifying patients, a model that will
guarantee access for qualifying patients while providing a strict
enforcement mechanism to assure the drug is not distributed illegally.
Qualifying patients who live more than 25 miles from the nearest
dispensary will be allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants for
personal use.

Thirteen states, containing one quarter of the U.S. population,
currently permit medical use of marijuana with a physician's
recommendation. Arizona is the only state in the country where simple
possession of marijuana is a felony, punishable by up to one year in
jail. "With the announcement by US Attorney General Eric Holder in
March that the federal government will not prosecute medical marijuana
patients or providers who are operating in accordance with their state
law, there is no reason for Arizona not to protect medical marijuana
patients from arrest," added Myers. A poll conducted in Feb. 2009
showed that 65 percent of Arizona voters support the proposed medical
marijuana law, with broad support across all political ideologies and
demographic groups.

AMMPP must collect 153,365 valid signatures by July 2010 to qualify
the initiative for the ballot.

Signature collection will begin this Saturday. For more information
regarding AMMPP call 602-462-2291 or visit the website 
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D