Pubdate: Thu, 03 Nov 2016
Source: Tucson Weekly (AZ)
Copyright: 2016 Tucson Weekly
Author: Heather Moroso


I strong support the legalization of marijuana but I'm voting no on Prop 
205. I'm not a prohibitionist. I think the reefer madness propaganda 
campaign against Prop 205 is ridiculous. I'm naturopathic physician that 
provides medical marijuana certifications. I believe in medical 
marijuana - like many I have seen the miracles of this plant. I believe 
in recreational marijuana too - just not this way.

First, props to all the hard work done throughout the state in efforts 
to get legalizing marijuana on the ballot. There are many reasons why 
I'm voting no THIS time. (I'm intentionally avoiding the legal points 
because Im not a lawyer. But its important to remember that minor 
infractions can lead easily lead to felonies). I'll boil it down to a 
few points against 205 that aren't talked about

This is not a step forward. Many folks I hear that are voting YES say 
its not a perfect law but a step forward - "we can change it later." If 
this law passes - we are stuck with it. This law is a VOTERS INITIATIVE 
- - It can be changed by only 2 nearly impossible ways.

1) The Arizona Senate/Legislation

a) By a super majority vote (2/3+)

Pass an change that "furthers the intent" of the initiative.

A New initiative-starting all over-back to the streets collecting 
signatures and back to re-writing the proposition. Arizona legislation 
to date has NOT been an overwhelming strong supporter of medical OR 
recreational marijuana. The chance of change through the ladies and men 
in Phoenix currently is slim to none (especially with the needs to get a 
2/3 majority vote). A new voters initiative? If the law passes there 
will be less incentive to make this happen. I fear people will become 
complacent with a law that is less than mediocre.

The Department of Marijuana licenses and Control: These are the folks 
that will be appointed by the Governor and will take over both the 
medical and recreational marijuana programs. They can amend any of the 
rules of the medical marijuana program and will take over all the 
monies. The governing board of this department will consist of the 
director and the marijuana commission - that consists of 7 members (4 of 
which have NO financial interest in any marijuana establishments and 3 
that DO).The Governor will appoint an Enforcement Officer that will have 
"all the powers and duties of a peace officer" and create an internal 
task force for policing illegal activity. If this prop is the 
legalization of marijuana then why are we OK with creating more policing 
of marijuana activity? Why are individuals with financial ties to 
dispensaries allowed to make up almost 50% of the governing body? This 
is a frighting amount of control. Its too much overlap between the 
governing board, the making and the enforcement the rules and who they 
are governing and making the rules for.

Virtual elimination of free enterprise: There will be more jobs if prop 
205 passes but there won't be ANY new businesses until 2021. 2017-2021 
all the licenses for recreational marijuana will solely be given to 
CURRENT medical marijuana dispensaries. In 2021 The Department of 
Marijuana licenses and Control may begin to accept new applications for 
marijuana establishments, but if they have greater applications than 
allowable, any application that is from a previous medical marijuana 
dispensary will be chosen first over any new folks that are competing 
for an application - this is forever.

Laws of licenses for cultivation are also skewed towards current medical 
marijuana dispensaries. It will be a tiered system. Only the highest 
tier, allowing UNLIMITED marijuana production, will be given to the 
current dispensaries- everyone else will have restrictions.

As physician and someone that believes in small business I will not 
support this. There are many talented people that didn't have the 
$150,000, the luck of the lottery system to 'win' the opportunity of a 
medical marijuana dispensary, and people that aren't even born yet that 
will have a major disadvantage in the future business of the marijuana 
industry. Simply because the laws strongly support the current 
dispensaries. Like any business dispensaries across the board vary in 
quality and service. This has been a great frustration. Lives have been 
saved and radically changed for the better with help from many 
dispensaries. There has also been situations where MEDICAL cannabis has 
contained mold, fungus, bugs, situations of poor information and people 
ripped off (80 year old woman with stage 3 lung cancer that bought $2100 
of concentrated hemp oil believing it was a cancer cure comes to mind). 
Even if every current dispensary was perfect-they still deserve 
competition - immediately and the in future.

Competition will allow the best to rise to the top. Get out and vote and 
vote educated.

- -Heather Moroso
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt