As of April 14, 2011, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has officially begun accepting applications for medical marijuana patient and caregiver cards. Qualifying patients can begin applying for registry identification cards at the ADHS website.
Fun Facts About the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act says that anyone who follows the requirements can’t be penalized for the medical use of marijuana by entities such as schools, landlords, and employers. In regard to growing and cultivating medical marijuana, a qualifying Flagstaff 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, and must be done in an “enclosed, locked facility” such as a greenhouse. A medical marijuana card will cost a qualifying patient $150 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card. Some qualifying patients may be eligible to pay $75 for initial and renewal cards if they currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Who gets to apply?
A qualifying patient, who has been diagnosed with one of the debilitating medical conditions will need to get a written certification from a physician (medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or homeopath licensed to practice in Arizona) with whom he/she has a physician-patient relationship. The written certification has to be on a form provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services (Department) within 90 days before submitting an application for a registry identification card. After obtaining the written certification from the physician, the qualifying patient can apply online for a registry identification card, after April 14, 2011.
So what is a “debilitating medical condition” for the purpose of getting a medical marijuana card?
Here is how Arizona statute defines a debilitating medical condition: “Debilitating medical condition” means one or more of the following: (a) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, crohn’s disease, agitation of alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions. (b) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of 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 characteristic of multiple sclerosis. (c) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01. See Arizona Revised Statutes, section 38-2801(3).
How much marijuana can I possess?
A qualifying patient can possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana or 12 marijuana plants.
Flagstaff Police Make Their Points on Enforcing Criminal Marijuana Laws
Recently, the Flagstaff police held a public meeting to discuss medical marijunana laws about to go into effect. One of their major points was that medical marijuana card-holders can still be charged with DUI if they are impaired by marijuana consumption while driving in Flagstaff city limits. The main point: Flagstaff police officers will still be looking to pull you over and charge you with possession of marijuana (in excess of 2.5 ounces), DUI, DUI – impaired, smoking marijuana in public, and any other Flagstaff drug violations they can come up with.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Flagstaff, or have questions about medical marijuana and how to protect yourself and your rights, call Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation.