Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jan 2013
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2013 The Arizona Republic
Author: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
Page: B2


A state lawmaker wants to repeal Arizona's controversial medical 
marijuana law, which allows people with certain medical conditions to 
legally grow, sell and use the drug.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, on Thursday filed a bill that 
would refer the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act back to the ballot in 
November 2014. House Concurrent Resolution 2003 would require the 
Legislature's approval, but not Gov. Jan Brewer's signature. The 
upcoming legislative session begins Jan. 14.

Kavanagh told The Arizona Republic that voters deserve the right to 
rethink whether the law, approved by voters in 2010, should have 
passed in the first place.

He said new findings that some teens were obtaining pot from medical 
marijuana cardholders "was the last straw." That survey information 
was included in the biennial study by Arizona Criminal Justice 
Commission, which found nearly one out of every nine students in 
Grades 8, 10 and 12 who responded to a survey said they got the drug 
from patients or caregivers who are legally allowed to use marijuana.

"This simply lets the voters rethink a decision they made on faulty - 
and absent -information," Kavanagh said. "Nobody ever dreamed they'd 
(medical marijuana cardholders) be supplying schoolchildren."

Arizona voters approved the medical marijuana law in 2010 by a narrow 
margin of about 4,300 votes.

"This measure barely passed at the polls ... and people were misled 
to believe that its recipients would be cancer patients on 
chemotherapy and glaucoma sufferers - but now they represent a 
fraction of the users," Kavanagh said.

Nearly 34,000 Arizonans are allowed to smoke or grow marijuana, 
according to the state Department of Health Services. Of them, 3.76 
percent use marijuana to ease cancer symptoms; less than 2 percent 
cite glaucoma. The overwhelming majority - 90 percent - cite severe 
and chronic pain.

Kavanagh thinks he'll have "overwhelming support" by the Legislature, 
which "was cool on the idea to begin with."

Kavanagh, like many other Republicans, is also concerned that the 
state's medical marijuana law conflicts with federal drug laws.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom