The Arizona Legislature began its 2018 legislative session last week, and lawmakers already have several marijuana bills to consider. Unfortunately, many would undermine the existing medical marijuana program.
HB 2068 would allow prosecutors to determine whether individuals on parole or probation can access medical marijuana, despite a 2015 state Supreme Court decision that held medical marijuana could not be withheld from patients under those circumstances. Another bill, SB 1060, would make it a felony and a $10,000 fine for anyone who publishes the address of a dispensary that is different from that on file, including typos!
Lawmakers should be improving patient access, not creating new obstacles.
Meanwhile, in a move toward improving marijuana policies, Rep. Mark Cardenas has introduced HB 2014, which would reduce the penalty for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana to $100. Please urge your state legislators to support HB 2014!
Imprisoning individuals for possessing small amounts of a substance that is safer than alcohol wastes valuable resources and can lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences, including denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses.