Last year voters in Arizona approved a measure allowing the sick to legally engage in marijuana consumption. Governor Brewer, opposed to the measure, reluctantly signed it into law. But to date, there are no real clear regulations on how these card holding, medically approved patients are supposed to get their marijuana.
Essentially, the new law allows for people to consume marijuana once they obtain medical clearance. However, it doesn’t give them any indication of how they are supposed to get it. Brewer put a stop to dispensaries, requesting a federal judge to review the new law before giving the green light to these medical marijuana retail establishments. In the meantime, unofficial marijuana “clubs” have popped up in an effort to serve patients who otherwise aren’t sure where to turn.
More than 7,500 cards have been issued thus far by the state according to the New York Times. But no licenses have been issued to dispensaries. Brewer’s apparent concern is that the medical marijuana law violates federal law and she’s filed suit in federal court asking for clarification. Ironically, she took the other side of the argument in the battle between state vs. federal laws when it came to the Arizona Immigration Law. The same judge will be reviewing this case.
Since the passing of the law, some card-holding patients have had their homes raided in what the police say is an effort to uncover those that are using the law incorrectly.
Some understand the law to allow sale between cardholders. This has led to the development of marijuana clubs that allow for the purchase of pot between patients for a membership fee. Patients are, according to the law, allowed to grow their own marijuana.
Some are scared away from getting medical clearance for pot because they are scared of attracting the attention of law enforcement. It’s assumed that at least some of these folks would rather continue to smoke illegally than have their name added to a registry of patients.
However, the bottom line is, if you are not an approved medical marijuana card holder and you are caught with marijuana, you can be criminally charged. And because officials seem so opposed to the medical marijuana movement, you can bet they will not be going easy on marijuana offenders.
Arizona marijuana charges are notoriously harsh. If you are caught in possession of any amount under 2 pounds, you face felony charges and a potential year in prison.