Tuesday, May 19, 2009 – On May 14, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project (AMMPP) filed language with the Secretary of State’s office with the intent to place the issue of medical marijuana on the November 2010 ballot.

AMMPP’s initiative would make the possession of a limited quantity of marijuana and its use legal under Arizona law for certain severely ill patients with a doctor’s recommendation. “This is a common-sense law that allows severely ill patients access to medication that they need, while providing strict controls to make sure this medicine is only available to qualified patients,” said Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the initiative. “Thousands of patients across Arizona are already using medical marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation. These patients shouldn’t have to risk arrest and jail just for following their doctor’s advice.”

Marijuana has been shown to safely and effectively relieve nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and treatments for HIV/AIDS and other illnesses, and to relieve the nerve pain that afflicts millions suffering from multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. The prospective law calls for using state-regulated dispensaries to distribute marijuana to qualifying patients, a model that will guarantee access for qualifying patients while providing a strict enforcement mechanism to assure the drug is not distributed illegally. Qualifying patients who live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary will be allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use.

Thirteen states, containing one quarter of the U.S. population, currently permit medical use of marijuana with a physician’s recommendation. Arizona is the only state in the country where simple possession of marijuana is a felony, punishable by up to one year in jail. Full article here.

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