Medical Marijuana Implementation in the State of Arizona


I do not have a good attorney unless I prefaced this article with a few disclaimers: 1) Marijuana is still a controlled schedule I; 2) This article is not to be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to take place before taking any actions in further the subject matter of this article. Ok, let’s begin.

In the month of November, the State of Arizona passed Proposition 203, which would exempt certain people from controlled substances in the State of Arizona. However, it will still take some time before marijuana medical is implemented as policy in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services has released a proposed timeline for drafting the rules surrounding the implementation of Proposition 203. So far, these are the important time periods that should be paid close attention to: Medical Condition

December 17, 2010: The first draft of the medical marijuana rules should be released and made available for comment on this date.

January 7, 2011: This will be the deadline for the first draft of rules public comment above.

January 31, 2011: The second draft of the rules will be released on this date. Once again, it will be available as above.

February 21 to March 18, 2011: More formal public hearings will be held about the proposed rules at this time, after which the final rules will be made public on the Office of Administrative Rules website.

April 2011: The medical marijuana rules will go into effect and be published in the Arizona Administrative Register.

The interested parties submit briefs and / or oral presentations when permitted. The group with the interests of medical marijuana advocates may also be making presentations, and may convince the State to restrict the substance or rights to advocate in favor of patients’ rights.

Some key points about Proposition 203’s effects

-Physicians may prescribe medical marijuana for their patients under certain conditions. “Physician” is limited to normal medical doctors. Osteopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 17; naturopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 14; and homeopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 29 may all be eligible to recommend marijuana for their patients.

-In order to be prescribed medical marijuana, a person must be a “qualifying patient.” A qualifying patient is defined as someone who has been diagnosed by a “physician” (as defined above) as having a “debilitating medical condition.”

-Binding medical conditions include:
• Cancer, glaucoma, HIV positive status, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diabetes.
• A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition 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.
• Any pursuant to Section 36-2801.01.

This last qualifying condition is underlined because it is vitally important during the rulemaking process. Although Proposition 203 has the right to be difficult to get to change any law. The initial discretionary rules for additional treatments could be exercised during public consultations that occur between December and March, though this is not certain.

It is a good idea for those who are not listed in the first two bullets. the additional medical condition to the list of debilitating medical conditions. In order to increase the prestige of any presentations to add medical conditions under Section 36-2801.01, it may be helpful to solicit the testimony of the Arizona-licensed medical doctors who can testify on paper and public hearings about why the proposed condition should be added. Other jurisdictions, both in the United States and elsewhere, are currently using marijuana as a treatment for the proposed conditions may be helpful, as would medical journals on the subject.