In 2010 Arizona, where I live, voted in prop 203, legalizing medical marijuana use. I got my medical marijuana card in 2011.
I have Lower Lumbar Spinal Stenosis between L5 and my tailbone. What that is is a narrowing of the spine. Prior to this I was taking prescription pain meds, Vicodin, Synthetic Morphine, Flexiril and Amitriptyline for 3 years. I haven’t taken a pill since August of 2011. The narcotics I just listed caused me to hallucinate, to sleep sometimes 24 hours straight, and I couldn’t function on a normal basis. Since using the Marijuana my sleep patterns are normal, I get instant relief, I can control my dosage, I can function on a daily basis and I don’t spend hundreds of dollars a month on my meds.
Here is how the medical marijuana program is supposed to work. You make an appointment with a Doctor in the Medical Marijuana program. You must have medical records and or an MRI with a diagnosis from at least one doctor prior to your appointment. The doctors in the program don’t do exams, tests or X-Rays, CAT Scans or MRI’s. They simply examine your paperwork and determine if you qualify. You, well I, paid 75.00 for the office visit, 50.00 processing fee then paid 175.oo for the Card which expires after 1 year. You must apply for the card online. You have the option to be just a patient, who can buy from a registered caregiver, or you can also grow your own, and or you can be a caregiver yourself. A patient is allowed to purchase 2 1/2 ounces every two weeks, you can grow up to 12 plants in your home and caregivers are allowed all of the above plus they can sell or provide medical marijuana to no more than 25 patients. In states that allow dispensaries, Arizona is one of them, a patient is supposed to live further than 25 miles away. Don’t know why. All dispensaries must be non-profit and there is a ‘cap’ on how much caregivers can charge a patient for medical marijuana.
A couple of months ago here in Arizona there was a lottery held for the 91 licenses available for dispensaries. Remember prop 203 was voted in in 2010. The day after the lottery Arizona Attorney General gave a press conference saying he would uphold federal law when it comes to dispensaries and medical marijuana.
Now, here is the federal law concerning medical marijuana.
The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act or CSA (21 U.S.C. & 811). What this means is that the federal government does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use. Under federal law marijuana is treated the same as every other controlled substance, such as cocaine or heroin. Every controlled substance is in a schedule. In principle it’s according its relative potential for abuse and medicinal value. Under CSA marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means it is highly addictive with no medicinal value. According to the federal government, doctors cannot prescribe medical marijuana under federal law but they can recommend it under the 1st Amendment.
To make a long story short, the DEA can arrest users, caregivers and dispensary owners in states where medical marijuana is legal.
The federal government will NEVER legalize marijuana. Why? Because it is a weed. No one can own the rights to it, no one can patent it, not pharmaceutical companies, not individuals and not businesses.
The Constitution gave the states the right to govern themselves. The federal government should have to uphold the Constitution.
I don’t understand why Arizona held the lottery for dispensary licenses if the Attorney General wasn’t going to abide by state law allowing them. People paid a lot of money just to get into the lottery. I don’t understand why I had to pay over 200.00 dollars for a medical marijuana card when there is nowhere for me to buy my marijuana, except on the street. I don’t understand why Arizona even held a vote for it in the first place.
Recommended documentaries on this subject:
The Union, How Weed Won The West, Marijuana; A Chronic History and High; The True Tale of American Marijuana