Gov. Jan Lifts Block on MMJ Dispensaries
Posted by J.M. Smith tusconweekley.com
In a statement issued Friday, the governor told God and everyone that she has ordered the processing of dispensary applications in Arizona, but not immediately.
"I have directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to begin accepting and processing dispensary applications, and issuing licenses for those facilities once a pending legal challenge to the departmentâ€Ÿs medical marijuana rules is resolved," she said.
Brewer continues to complain in the announcement about the supposed prosecution threat to state employees, again asking the U.S. Attorney's Office for a clarification of the feds' position on workers who process applications and regulate the dispensaries. But in the end, she gave up.
"I believe the best course of action now is to complete the implementation of Proposition 203 in accordance with the law," she said.
Unless, of course, she decides not to. The statement ends with this threat:
"Know this: I won't hesitate to halt State involvement in the AMMA if I receive indication that state employees face prosecution due to their duties in administering this law."
YCSO seeks grandfather for growing marijuana
This drug war ruins lives, while doing nothing to curb drug use. -UA
Larry Everett Brown Sr., 62, is wanted for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts of child endangerment.
The sheriff's office was contacted after a representative from Children’s Protective Services found marijuana growing inside Brown's Spring Valley home while checking on the welfare of his three grandchildren, all under the age of 9.
A sheriff's deputy arrived to assist the CPS employee and found more than 100 marijuana plants growing in the basement, according to YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn. Marijuana was also found in the bedroom of Larry Brown Jr., the children's father.
D'Evelyn said Brown Jr. was present and expressed no concern regarding his children's access to the marijuana. He explained that his dad was growing marijuana for a Phoenix resident and said his dad had a medical marijuana card from California.
Detectives were able to reach Brown Sr. by cell phone and they said that he admitted growing the marijuana plants. He was hoping to provide product for Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries but since the state's medical marijuana program is on hold, he was in the process of selling the plants in the Phoenix area.
Brown Jr. was arrested for three counts of child endangerment, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center. CPS assumed custody of his children.
Brown Sr. has not been located and detectives have obtained a warrant for his arrest.
Medical marijuana probe flags 8 Arizona physicians
Slow down docs....plenty of food on the table.......-UA
PHOENIX (AP) — State health officials have filed complaints against eight physicians who have recommended nearly half of the 10,000 Arizonans certified to use medical marijuana.
They say the physicians have failed to check patients' prescription-drug histories, as required.
State rules regulating the voter-approved medical-marijuana law require people to obtain a written recommendation from a licensed physician.
The doctor must perform a physical exam, review a year's worth of medical records, discuss the risks and benefits of medical marijuana, and review a state database that tracks prescription-drug use.
The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/pM1Ln4) reports that physicians can face a variety of consequences, from a letter of reprimand to suspension of their license, if their regulatory boards find they falsified medical records or are otherwise guilty of unprofessional conduct.
In one case, a naturopathic physician issued recommendations to about 1,000 people but checked the state Board of Pharmacy's controlled-substances database just 56 times, said Will Humble, director of the state Department of Health Services.
Because she indicated that she had checked the database on all the patients, Humble wonders what else she was lying about.
"It's obvious that these physicians are not acting on the up and up," Humble said. "To me, it's an indicator of, 'What else aren't you doing?' "
A review of the patient's drug-prescription history can help physicians determine whether medical marijuana is the best option or whether the patient is just looking to get high. The database tracks the log-in for every patient as well as searches for patients who aren't in the system.
In an effort to prevent doctors from encouraging recreational-marijuana use, Humble asked his staff to pull the names of doctors who had written more than 200 recommendations since the law took effect in mid-April. Ten came up.
When patient records were compared with the state pharmacy database, it showed that eight of those 10 physicians — three allopathic doctors and five naturopaths — failed to review drug histories on many of their patients.
Three doctors had never logged on, although they had checked the box on hundreds of medical-marijuana applications saying they had reviewed the patient's drug history.
The eight physicians account for nearly half of the 10,000 doctor recommendations in Arizona. The number recommended by each doctor ranged from slightly more than 200 to about 1,300.
Humble has no authority over Arizona physicians, but he reported the doctors to their regulatory boards this week. State law prohibits him from releasing their names, but they will become public if the boards agree to investigate.
Lisa Wynn, executive director of the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, said a record-keeping violation would be relatively simple to review. A clinical investigation involving patient care, however, would involve hiring an expert in medical-marijuana use to evaluate whether physicians were acting appropriately.
If the board decides to investigate, a review committee will determine what discipline, if any, to recommend. The board can take that recommendation or issue its own, including dismissal of the complaint.
Proposition 203, approved by voters in November, legalized medical-marijuana use for people with certain debilitating conditions and allowed them to designate someone as a "caregiver" to grow or otherwise obtain marijuana for them.
About 80 percent of those issued state ID cards to use medical marijuana also are authorized to grow it.
The state was to begin licensing dispensaries in June, but a federal lawsuit filed by Gov. Jan Brewer put that process on hold, sparking a new round of legal action. Because there are not yet any licensed dispensaries, caregivers and patients are allowed to grow their own pot, up to 12 plants per person.
Burns: Misclassification behind medical-marijuana fiasco
A doctor that gets it.-UA
Elaine Burns - Jun. 13, AZCENTRAL.com
Confusion over the conflicts, both imagined and real, between Arizona's voter-approved medical-marijuana law and federal law has been running rampant in recent weeks.
On one hand, the federal government has warned growers and sellers of the potential for prosecution while stating a hands-off policy toward those who have been certified for use.
On the other hand, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne have replied to U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke's warnings with yet another lawsuit, incurring more needless legal fees for Arizona taxpayers and seriously delaying full implementation of the new law.
Patients who can benefit from the medication are caught in the middle.
They are eager for the relief they know they can get from medical marijuana but do not understand how all the political maneuvering is in their best interest.
Fortunately for patients, the medical-marijuana community has been operating without dispensaries since April and can continue to do so even though the state's lawsuit has put a hold on any dispensaries opening in the foreseeable future.
Doctors have been guiding patients through the certification process, and the state is still accepting applications for certification and issuing cards.
Voters must place pressure for legalization where it belongs on Washington, D.C.
Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug and prohibits its cultivation, sale or use.
Schedule I drugs are considered to be substances with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
But marijuana's medical uses are extensive and include efficacy for such debilitating conditions as glaucoma, cancer, AIDS and chronic pain.
The two largest physician groups in the country - the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians - have called on the federal government to review marijuana's Schedule I classification.
It is time for marijuana to be reclassified.
The real problem is at the federal level, where marijuana has been misclassified as a Schedule I drug.
Those who support medical marijuana must make their voices heard in Washington.
They need to ask that marijuana be removed from a classification that includes drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine - drugs that are not only highly addictive but that also have no medical use.
As long as marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, the medical-marijuana community will continue to have problems.
People must make themselves heard.
Individuals can begin by educating themselves via Americans for Safe Access (www.AmericansForSafeAccess .org), a national organization spearheading a call to action on the issue of reclassifying marijuana.
But most importantly, voters should contact their congressional representatives to make their position known and bring pressure to reclassify marijuana.
Dr. Elaine M. Burns is an Arizona-licensed and board-certified naturopathic medical doctor. She is medical director at the Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center and a founding member and president of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Physicians Association.
Pinal turns down tribal pot request
Posted: Mar 2, 2011 8:46 AM
courtesy of www.kvoa.com
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) - Pinal County supervisors are rejecting a call by Gila River Indian Community officials not to locate pot dispensaries within a mile of their borders because the tribe doesn't recognize medical marijuana.
Tribal Gov. William R. Rhodes said in a letter the county's cooperation would support his community's stance against medical marijuana and help reduce safety hazards and criminal behavior that could arise from dispensaries located within a mile of the community's boundary.
The Arizona Republic reports Pinal supervisors last week approved a medical-marijuana ordinance without accommodating the tribe's Feb. 14 request. The ordinance dictates zoning rules for dispensaries and related facilities.
County Supervisor David Snider says supervisors could consider the tribe's request on a case-by-case basis when dispensaries seek to operate on unincorporated county land.