Arizona Medical Marijuana Program: ProP 203: ParT I

Oh how the times change. Thank goodness Arizona has stepped into the future, & has somewhat escaped the conservative right-wing cage we have been preserved in for so long.
{In November 2010, voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The citizen initiative (Proposition 203) called on the Arizona Department of Health Services to create a medical marijuana program within 120 days from the official election results. Qualifying patients can start applying for identification cards on April 14, 2011, and the Department suspended the dispensary and dispensary agent portions on May 27, 2011.
GE01: Why do I need to have a medical marijuana registry identification card?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act says that anyone who follows the requirements can't be penalized for the medical use of marijuana. The Act prohibits certain discriminatory practices, including:
  • A school or landlord can't refuse to enroll or lease to a qualifying patient unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to lose benefits under federal law;
  • An employer can't discriminate against a qualifying patient in hiring, terminating, or imposing employment conditions unless failing to do so would cause the employer to lose benefits under federal law; and
  • An employer can't penalize a qualifying patient for a positive drug test for marijuana, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during hours of employment.
GE02: What is still prohibited under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (Act) does not:
  • Authorize a person to undertake any task under the influence of marijuana that constitutes negligence or professional malpractice. Authorize possessing or using medical marijuana on a school bus, on the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or high school, or in a correctional facility.
  • Authorize smoking marijuana on public transportation or in a public place.
  • Authorize operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana. A registered qualifying patient will not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of marijuana in the person's system that appears in a concentration insufficient to cause impairment.
  • Require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana.
  • Require an owner of private property to allow the use of marijuana on that property.
  • Require an employer to allow the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace.
  • Prevent a nursing care or other residential or inpatient healthcare facility from adopting reasonable restrictions on the provision, storage and use of marijuana by residents or patients.
GE03: Will there be people growing medical marijuana in my neighborhood?
A qualifying patient or the qualifying patient's designated caregiver may cultivate medical marijuana if the qualifying patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. A dispensary may cultivate marijuana at the dispensary or at a cultivation site, but the location of the dispensary and the cultivation site needs to be in compliance with local zoning restrictions. Anyone who grows medical marijuana must do so in an enclosed area.
GE04: How much will it cost to apply for a registry identification card or a dispensary registration certificate?
The fees are listed in rules and include:

  • $150 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a qualifying patient. Some qualifying patients may be eligible to pay $75 for initial and renewal cards if they currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • $200 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a designated caregiver.
  • $500 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a dispensary agent.
  • $5,000 for an initial dispensary registration certificate.
  • $1,000 for a renewal dispensary registration certificate.
  • $2,500 to change the location of a dispensary or cultivation facility.
  • $10 to amend, change, or replace a registry identification card.} http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/

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