In 1996, Arizona Proposition 200 was approved as an initiative state statute by a 65.4 to 34.6 percent margin. Proposition 200 allows medical doctors to prescribe controlled substances, such as marijuana, to relieve the pain and suffering of seriously or terminally ill patients. A patient who is prescribed marijuana by a doctor would not be subject to criminal penalties for possessing or using marijuana. However, House Bill 2518 signed in 1997 repealed some of the most controversial provisions of Proposition 200. The new law only allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana when they are authorized and rescheduled by the federal government.
In 2010, proponents of Proposition 200 had another victory with Proposition 203 which was approved as an initiative state statute by a 50.1 to 49.9 percent margin. Proposition 203 allows Arizona residents with specific medical conditions to be treated with medical marijuana. These individuals are now protected from arrest and prosecution for using medical marijuana that was properly prescribed to them. Note that this proposition did not legalize driving under the influence of medical marijuana nor working while under the influence. With the passage of this amendment, Arizona became the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana.
Since the approval of Proposition 203, Arizona legislature has attempted to limit access to medical marijuana. For instance, in March of 2011, the Arizona Department of Health Services released guidelines of who could grow, consume and distribute medical marijuana.
A.R.S. 36-2801 defines “Debilitating medical condition” as meaning one or more of the following:
A qualifying patient may apply for a registry identification car by submitting:
Under A.R.S. 36-2802, the following conduct is not protected by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act:
Having a medical marijuana card or being a caregiver for someone who uses medical marijuana does not mean that you are exempt from Arizona laws. To protect yourself from legal problems it is important you understand the medical marijuana regulations in Arizona.
If you or someone you know have recently run into medical marijuana legal problems, be sure to contact us at Nava Law in Phoenix, AZ, to discuss your specific legal issue today.