Arizona to Vote on Medical Marijuana in November 2010
In 1996 Arizona became the first state to implement sweeping drug reform when we passed Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996.
It allowed physicians to prescribe any Schedule I drug, including marijuana. Proposition 200 required the patient to be seriously ill and have a recommendation from a second physician. Because the FDA regulates prescription drugs, doctors cannot prescribe Schedule I drugs.
The Arizona Supreme Court found that Proposition 200 diverted 2,600 non-violent offenders into drug treatment in its first year; it saved Arizona taxpayers $2.56 million. Over 3/4th of the offenders tested drug-free after completion of the program. A follow-up study in 2001 found that Proposition 200 saved taxpayers over $6 million in prisons costs in its second year.
Despite the fact that two out of three Arizona voters voted for Proposition 200, the Arizona legislature passed legislation overturning much of the initiative. In 1998, voters supported referendums and defeated the changes; voters also approved an initiative that made it more difficult for our Arizona legislators to tamper with voter-approved initiatives.
On November 2nd 2010 voters here in Arizona will have a chance to make thing right, and allow patients with serious medical conditions to use medical marijuana.
I’m going to start talking about the Arizona medical marijuana initiative and some of my pet peeves with the medical marijuana laws from other states.
I hope I give my Arizona legislators and other government officials some things to think about.