"I would not be a good attorney unless I prefaced this informative article by incorporating disclaimers:
1) Marijuana remains a controlled schedule I substance which is illegal within the eyes in the Federal Government in the United States;
2) This article is not to be construed as legal services, nor is to take the place in the advice of your attorney, and you will talk to a lawyer before thinking about actions in furtherance of the subject material of this information. Ok, let's begin.
In the month of November, the State of Arizona passed Proposition 203, which could exempt certain people from controlled substances laws inside State of Arizona. However, it is going to still take some time before medicinal marijuana is implemented as policy in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services has released a proposed timeline for your drafting from the rules all around the implementation of Proposition 203. So far, these are the basic important time periods that ought to be paid close care about:
December 17, 2010: The first draft in the medicinal marijuana rules ought to be released and made readily available for reply to this date.
January 7, 2011: This will probably be the deadline for public reply to the initial draft of rules mentioned previously.
January 31, 2011: The second draft from the rules will likely be released for this date. Once again, it will be designed for informal comment as inside draft known as above.
February 21 to March 18, 2011: More formal public hearings will be held in regards to the proposed rules currently, and the final rules will probably be submitted to the Secretary of State making it public about the Office of Administrative Rules website.
April 2011: The medical cannabis rules will go into effect and be published within the Arizona Administrative Register.
It is vital that at all times throughout the consultation process, your clients submit briefs and/or make oral presentations when permitted. Groups with interests as opposed to those of medical marijuana advocates may also be making presentations, and may convince the State to unnecessarily restrict the substance or those who may qualify to gain access to it if you have no voice to advocate in favor of patients' rights.
Some blueprint about Proposition 203's effects
-Physicians may prescribe medicinal marijuana because of their patients under certain conditions. ""Physician"" isn't defined in ways limited to normal physicians. Osteopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 17; naturopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 14; and homeopaths licensed under Title 32, Chapter 29 may all be permitted to recommend marijuana because of their patients.
-In order to become prescribed medical marijuana, an individual has to be a ""qualifying patient."" A qualifying patient means someone who has been diagnosed with a ""physician"" (as defined above) as creating a ""debilitating problem.""
-Debilitating medical ailments include:
* Cancer, glaucoma, HIV positive status, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, or agitation of Alzheimer's disease or perhaps the management of these conditions.
* A chronic or debilitating disease or medical problem or its treatment that produces several in the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those sign of multiple sclerosis.
* Any other condition or its treatment added from the Department of Health Services pursuant to Section 36-2801.01.
This last qualifying condition is underlined which is very important during the rulemaking process. Although Proposition 203 allows for the public to petition the Department of Health Services to exercise its discretion to add conditions under it, bureaucracy is notoriously rare to find to switch any law. The initial discretionary rules for further treatments might be exercised during the public consultations that occur between December and March, though this just isn't certain.
It is therefore important that, inside event that incorporating health concerns is known as during the consultations, any stakeholder who wishes for the problem unlisted within the first 2 bulleted items above to lobby during the public consultation periods for your Department to add the extra problem towards the list of debilitating medical ailments. In order to improve the prestige of the presentations made to justify adding medical conditions under Section 36-2801.01, it can be useful to solicit the testimony of sympathetic Arizona-licensed medical professionals who can testify in writing and also at the general public hearings about why the proposed condition ought to be added. Documents showing that other jurisdictions, both inside the United States and elsewhere, currently use marijuana as being a treatment for that proposed condition could be helpful, as would medical journals about the subject.
It must be remembered that despite his cheery YouTube videos about the medical cannabis rule drafting process, Director of Health Services Will Humble wrote a submission in opposition towards the passing of Proposition 203. He managed it for the grounds the FDA does not test the drug, although the federal government's anti-marijuana policy is well-known it should stop trusted as a possible authority for unbiased medical marijuana research. There is no reason to believe that Director Humble will likely be any less inclined to obstruct the use of medicinal marijuana in the rulemaking stage, and all sorts of proponents of medical cannabis needs to be sure to make their voices heard in the consultations to stop the obstruction of the intent of Proposition 203.
Extent of Rulemaking during Consultations
There are also provisions in Proposition 203 which is going to be discussed during the initial rulemaking process, and they're going to apt to be the main focus from the consultations. The consultations can provide rules:
* Governing the way in which in which the Department of Health Services need the petitions from the public earlier mentioned, regarding the addition of medical ailments for the list in the already enshrined debilitating medical ailments.
* Establishing the shape and content of registration and renewal applications submitted under the medicinal marijuana law.
* Governing the manner where the Department will consider applications for and renewals of medicinal marijuana ID cards.
* Governing the various aspects around the newly legalized nonprofit medical cannabis dispensaries, including recordkeeping, security, oversight, and also other requirements.
* Establishing the fees for patient applications and medical cannabis dispensary applications.
The most crucial part in the consultation period will probably be concerning the rules governing the establishment and oversight of medical marijuana dispensaries. If interest groups lobby the Department to create the recordkeeping, security, oversight, as well as other requirements around dispensaries too restrictive, it'll have the effect of reducing the use of medical cannabis to patients and driving inside the expense of medical marijuana due towards the lack of supply. It could simply become too costly to conform to all with the regulations.
During this stage, it is vital that stakeholders-particularly medicinal marijuana dispensaries from out-of-state, and maybe pharmacists with a little economic knowledge-submit briefs explaining why certain proposed rules could have a negative effect on the patients this Proposition is supposed to help. The proposed rules haven't turn out yet, however when they do, they needs to be closely scrutinized to the possible negative impact that unnecessarily tough security and recordkeeping on nonprofit dispensaries could have on patients.
The other major factor in the rulemaking must do while using fees. The Department will be setting fees for medical cannabis dispensaries during the consultation period. Proposition 203 provides the fees might not exactly exceed $5,000 per initial application, and $1,000 per renewal. However, by incorporating lobbying throughout the public consultation, it is possible how the actual fees will probably be a smaller amount since these are simply the absolute maximum that this Department may charge.
Discrimination against Medical Marijuana Users
Under Proposition 203, discrimination against medical marijuana users will likely be prohibited in certain situations. Based on our analysis, an individual may well not:
* As a school or landlord, will not enroll someone or otherwise not penalize them solely for their status like a medical cannabis cardholder, unless not this would result inside the loss in a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations.
* As an employer, discriminate against hiring someone, or terminate them or impose any conditions in it because they are a medical cannabis cardholder, unless not the process would result inside loss of a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations. Employers may still terminate employees if the employee is within having or impaired by marijuana for the premises in the where you work or through the hours of employment.
* As a health care bills provider, discriminate against a cardholder, including in matters of organ transplants. Medical marijuana has to be treated just like any other medication prescribed with a physician.
* Be prevented, like a cardholder, from having visitation custody or visitation or parenting time having a minor, unless the cardholder's behavior ""creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor as established by clear and convincing evidence.""
Although there are certain prohibitions on discrimination, there are also provisions which allow discrimination against medical marijuana cardholders:
* Government medical assistance programs and private health insurers usually are not needed to reimburse an individual for their medical cannabis use.
* Nobody who possesses property, including businesses, is needed to allow medicinal marijuana on his or her cbd products newtown premises (this seemingly includes landlords who, whilst they cannot refuse tenants based on the being a cardholder, are permitted to stop cardholders from bringing marijuana on top of the landlord's property).
* Employers are certainly not required to allow cardholders being underneath the influence of or ingest marijuana while working, the presence of marijuana in the body which is just not of your sufficient concentration to cause impairment will not establish being beneath the influence of it.
Rules Related to the Establishment of Dispensaries
Although the final rules around security, recordkeeping, along with other requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries are not established until April 2011, there are particular requirements that happen to be enshrined in Proposition 203 itself which enable it to be known ahead in the time that a final rules emerge. These minimal requirements may well not be as restrictive as the final requirements which can be published in April 2011.
* Medical marijuana dispensaries must be nonprofit. They have to have bylaws which preserve their nonprofit nature, though they desire 't be considered tax-exempt from the IRS, nor must they be incorporated.
* The operating documents of the dispensaries must include provisions to the oversight from the dispensary and then for accurate recordkeeping.
* The dispensary should have just one secure entrance and must implement appropriate security measures to deter which will help prevent the theft of marijuana and unauthorized usage of areas containing marijuana.
* A dispensary should never acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense marijuana for any purpose other than providing it right to a cardholder or to a registered caregiver to the cardholder.
* All cultivation of marijuana have to take place only at the locked, enclosed facility with a home address provided towards the Department of Health Services through the application process, and accessible only by dispensary agents registered with the Department.
* A dispensary can get marijuana from your patient of the caregiver, but only if your patient or caregiver receives no compensation because of it.
* No consumption of marijuana is permitted on the property of the dispensary.
* A dispensary is susceptible to reasonable inspection by the Department of Health Services. The Department must first give reasonable notice of the inspection towards the dispensary.
Comparison to California's Medical Marijuana Law
The Arizona law is actually no means the same since the law in California. There are certainly some differences involving the two, though in most respects they're comparable. This is a comparative analysis in the two laws.
* Both laws, as being a practical matter, allow for broad discretion on the part of the physician to prescribe marijuana to patients that are suffering from pain. In the Arizona law, ""severe and chronic pain"" will be the legislated standard. In the California law, any ""chronic or persistent medical symptom"" that substantially limits the life span of the patient to conduct more than one major life activities as defined through the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or that when not alleviated, may cause serious harm towards the patient's physical or mental safety, qualifies.
* Both laws have many illnesses that happen to be automatically considered qualifying illnesses for that prescription of medicinal marijuana. These include, but aren't tied to, AIDS, cachexia, cancer, glaucoma, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, and severe nausea.
* Both laws need the use associated with an identification card by those who have been prescribed medical cannabis, following the cardholders have gone through a basic application process in which the use of the drug continues to be recommended with a physician.
* Both states do not factor in the unusable portion of the marijuana plant in determining the utmost weight of marijuana that's permissible for possession by way of a cardholder.
* Though the rules have not been finalized, the Arizona law appears as though it'll be regulated for the state level and thus uniform across Arizona. The California law, however, is regulated significantly about the municipal level, and for that reason the rules around dispensaries can differ greatly derived from one of municipality towards the next.
* The Arizona law gives a broader spectrum of folks that are believed a ""physician"" for your purpose of prescribing medicinal marijuana. In California, only medical doctors and osteopaths are thought to be physicians. In Arizona, as well as medical doctors and osteopaths, naturopaths and homeopaths can also be able to prescribe medical cannabis.
* In California, patients or their caregivers may grow marijuana plants in lieu of by using a medicinal marijuana dispensary. In Arizona, patients may only grow marijuana or designate another individual to do this in lieu of going to a dispensary around the condition there's no dispensary operating within 25 miles of the patient's home.
* The maximum possession limit for marijuana in California is eight ounces per patient, whereas the limit is only 2.5 ounces per patient in Arizona.