“As the Crow Flies”

“As the Crow Flies”

Arizona’s 25 Mile Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ruletruth

In 1996 Arizona citizens bypassed

lawmakers; and won the “voter initiative measure” legalizing medical marijuana. Though it passed by a margin of 65% our State Legislature destroyed that law. This forced citizens to again battle and bypass lawmakers to pass Prop 105 in 1998: “Arizona Voter Protection Act”.  Though this law was a specific reaction to the sabotage of the 1996 medical marijuana law, Prop 105 generally prevents adversarial government from vetoing or obstructing laws that citizens initiate and voters approve.

In 2010 citizens again forced a vote for Medical Marijuana in Arizona and prevailed. This is why when you read the language of Prop. 203 you will repeatedly see this warning in captions: (Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies)

Even after the “Arizona Voter Protection Act” and “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” became law Governor Brewer, Tom Horne (Attorney General) and Will Humble (Department of Health Services) are still waging a litigious campaign against medical marijuana patients and the law that was meant to protect them. An ambush of oppressive restrictions and frivolous litigation prevents medical marijuana patients from having safe, legal and affordable access. The following is the first in a long and costly taxpayer paid parade of lost and pending lawsuits:

January 17, 2012 (MARICOPA COUNTY CV 2011-011290 01/17/2012) Judge Gama Ruled: In construing a statute adopted by initiative, the Court’s primary objective “is to give effect to the intent of the electorate.” “The voters passed Proposition 203 informed of marijuana’s therapeutic value in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. Prop. 203, at § 2(B). The voters intended to protect patients with those debilitating medical conditions (and 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.” Id. at § 2(G). The voters contemplated this be done in 120 days.”

Arizona Revised Statutes Section: 36-2803.-Rulemaking (Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies) “Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this chapter, the department shall adopt rules: Establishing the form and content of registration and renewal applications submitted under this chapter.”

On July 29, 2013 Maricopa Superior Court Judge Randall Warner ruled that Will Humble (ADHS) had failed to meet a set deadline and ordered him to rewrite rules 3 years after the legal mandate. Judge Warner: “Predictably, the implementation of medical marijuana in Arizona has met resistance. There have been legal challenges, political challenges, and a reluctance or unwillingness on the part of many public officials…” Will Humble admits in his ADHS blog that another Superior Court has ruled against him and it will take an additional year to rewrite new rules. http://directorsblog.health.azdhs.gov/?tag=medical-marijuana

Judge Warner’s recent ruling confirms that the form and content of registrations and renewals are still unresolved and in violation of the law. However, the controversy over Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and the 25-Mile Cultivation Interpretation will be the “tsunami of crippling and costly lawsuits”.

Will Humble ignores his “25-Mile as the Crow Flies Controversy” and foreseeable storm of litigation with another provocative fabrication in his latest Arizona Medical Marijuana Program Newsletter July 2013, pg. 3.): “ The law says that patients who live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary cannot grow their own medical marijuana. This was part of what voters passed, and ADHS cannot change it.”

“As the Crow Flies” is not mentioned in Prop 203 and nowhere in Prop 203 does it say: “patients who live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary cannot grow their own medical marijuana”.

Original Ballot Format version of Prop 203: “If the qualifying patient’s home is located more than 25 miles from the nearest nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary, the patient or designated caregiver may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.”

Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2804.02 – Registration of qualifying patients and designated caregivers (Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies) “A designation as to who will be allowed to cultivate marijuana plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use if a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary is not operating within twenty-five miles of the qualifying patient’s home.”

This 25-Mile Cultivation Designation by the patient offers a patient living excessive distance from an urban area protection from adversarial municipalities and private entities that don’t want medical marijuana dispensaries or patients in their communities. There is nothing in the language of Prop 203 that authorizes the Arizona Department of Health Services to force patients to buy their medical marijuana from a dispensary on a grid or precludes patients from growing their own marijuana. There is nothing in Prop 203 that says: “patients who live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary cannot grow their own medical marijuana”.  The language is simply not there. Will Humble’s greedy interpretation of Prop 203 will continue to create unnecessary litigation, expense, pain, suffering and death while the ADHS focuses on exploiting the use of marijuana and forcing the prices, dangers and revenues ever higher.

I am asking the Citizens of Arizona to join me in demanding the immediate removal of Will Humble as Head of the Department of Health Services.

Arlin Troutt/ushempnews.com (August 3, 2013)

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