Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws

Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws

Arizona Proposition 203

The Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) represent the statutory laws of the state of Arizona. The A.R.S. and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Rules each contain requirements applicable to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. Accordingly, to fully understand all the requirements applicable to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program, the A.R.S. and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Rules should be read in conjunction with each other.
TEXT OF AMENDMENT

Be it enacted by the people of the state of Arizona:

Section 1.  Title.

This act may be cited as the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.”

Sec. 2.  Findings.

The People of the State of Arizona find and declare the following:

A. Marijuana’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly 5,000 years, and modern medical research has confirmed beneficial uses for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999.

B. Studies published since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report have continued to show the therapeutic value of marijuana in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. These include relief of neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses that often fail to respond to conventional treatments and relief of nausea, vomiting and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, increasing the chances of patients continuing on life-saving treatment regimens.

C. Marijuana has many currently accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to at least 260,000 patients in the states with medical marijuana laws. Marijuana’s medical utility has been recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and many others.

D.    Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marijuana arrests in the U.S. are made under state law, rather than under federal law.  Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use marijuana.

E. Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island and Washington have removed state-level criminal penalties for the medical use and cultivation of marijuana.  Arizona joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

F.  States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law.  Therefore, compliance with this act does not put the state of Arizona in violation of federal law.

G.   State law should make a distinction between the medical and nonmedical uses of marijuana.  Hence, the purpose of this act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.

Sec. 3.  Title 36, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding Chapter 28.1 to read:

Chapter 28.1

Arizona medical marijuana act

36-2801.  Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “allowable amount of marijuana”

(a)        with respect to a qualifying patient, the “allowable amount of marijuana” means:

(i)        two-and-one-half ounces of usable marijuana; and

(ii)       if the qualifying patient’s registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the qualifying patient is moving.

(b)       with respect to a designated caregiver, the “allowable amount of marijuana” for each patient assisted by the designated caregiver under this chapter means:

(i)        two-and-one-half ounces of usable marijuana; and

(ii)       if the designated caregiver’s registry identification card provides that the designated caregiver is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the designated caregiver is moving.

(c)        marijuana that is incidental to medical use, but is not usable marijuana as defined in this chapter, shall not be counted toward a qualifying patient’s or designated caregiver’s allowable amount of marijuana.

2.  “cardholder” means a qualifying patient, a designated caregiver or a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card.

3. “debilitating medical condition” means one or more of the following:

(a)        cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis c, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, crohn’s disease, agitation of alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions.

(b)       a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

(c)        any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01.

4. “department” means the Arizona department of health services or its successor agency.

5. “designated caregiver” means a person who:

(a)        is at least twenty-one years of age.

(b)       has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana.

(c)        has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense.

(d)       assists no more than five qualifying patients with the medical use of marijuana.

(e)        may receive reimbursement for actual costs incurred in assisting a registered qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana if the registered designated caregiver is connected to the registered qualifying patient through the department’s registration process. The designated caregiver may not be paid any fee or compensation for his service as a caregiver.  Payment for costs under this subdivision shall not constitute an offense under title 13, chapter 34 or under title 36, chapter 27, article 4.

6. “enclosed, locked facility” means a closet, room, greenhouse or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a cardholder.

7. “excluded felony offense” means:

(a)        a violent crime as defined in section 13-901.03, subsection b, that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted.

(b)       a violation of a state or federal controlled substance law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted but does not include:

(i)        an offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration or supervised release, was completed ten or more years earlier.

(ii)       an offense involving conduct that would be immune from arrest, prosecution or penalty under section 36-2811 except that the conduct occurred before the effective date of this chapter or was prosecuted by an authority other than the state of arizona.

8. “marijuana” means all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.

9.  “medical use” means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, administration, delivery, transfer or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient’s debilitating medical condition.

10. “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent” means a principal officer, board member, employee or volunteer of a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary who is at least twenty-one years of age and has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense.

11. “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary” means a not-for-profit entity that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, sells or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.  A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary may receive payment for all expenses incurred in its operation.

12. “physician” means a doctor of medicine who holds a valid and existing license to practice medicine pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or its successor, a doctor of osteopathic medicine who holds a valid and existing license to practice osteopathic medicine pursuant to title 32, chapter 17 or its successor, a naturopathic physician who holds a valid and existing license to practice naturopathic medicine pursuant to title 32, chapter 14 or its successor or a homeopathic physician who holds a valid and existing license to practice homeopathic medicine pursuant to title 32, chapter 29 or its successor.

13. “qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.

14. “registry identification card” means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient, registered designated caregiver or a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent.

15. “usable marijuana” means the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant and does not include the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.

16. “verification system” means a secure, password-protected, web-based system established and maintained by the department that is available to law enforcement personnel and nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agents on a twenty-four hour basis for verification of registry identification cards.

17. “visiting qualifying patient” means a person:

(a)        who is not a resident of arizona or who has been a resident of arizona less than thirty days.

(b)       who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a person who is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs to humans in the state of the person’s residence or, in the case of a person who has been a resident of arizona less than thirty days, the state of the person’s  former residence.

18. “written certification” means a document dated and signed by a physician, stating that in the physician’s professional opinion the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.  The physician must:

(a)        specify the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition in the written certification.

(b)       sign and date the written certification only in the course of a physician-patient relationship after the physician has completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history.

36-2801.01.  Addition of debilitating medical conditions.

The public may petition the department to add debilitating medical conditions or treatments to the list of debilitating medical conditions set forth in section 36-2801, paragraph -3-. The department shall consider petitions in the manner required by department rule, including public notice and hearing.  The department shall approve or deny a petition within one-hundred-eighty days of its submission.  The approval or denial of a petition is a final decision of the department subject to judicial review pursuant to title 12, chapter 7, article 6.  Jurisdiction and venue are vested in the superior court.

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