A marijuana bill that would have stripped away all doctors who can legally recommend marijuana, and made the program costly and anything but hassle-free to patients in Arizona was killed. HCR 2019 was being pushed by Rep. Jay Lawrence and had it passed, would have completely vanquish the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program already voted on and passed by voters in 2010.
HC2019 would have finished the battle undermining Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) by state legislators who have been continuously doing so since its passage in 2010. The bill presented some ludicrous inclusions that would have made the program more of a burden than an aid to patients.
It proposed to have medical marijuana cards be renewed twice a year instead of once. Since the state fee for the card is $150, patients would have then had to shoulder a $300 annual cost just to legally purchase cannabis. Also, many naturopathic and homeopathic doctors would have no longer been permitted to recommend medical marijuana, leaving only medicine and osteopathic doctors to do the job. State legislators were aware that in a recent 2015 study, 88% of all medical marijuana patients were recommended by naturopathic and homeopathic doctors. Medicine and Osteopathic doctors only recommended 12% of the patients last year, and since they can’t legally recommend marijuana, they might have completely ceased from recommending them.
Thankfully HCR 2019 was killed, and there will be no financial burden for patients to renew cards and it will still be possible to get recommendations from physicians. Supporters and patients of AMMA call on everyone to join them at a rally to continue to stand up for everyone’s rights on January 27, Wednesday at 10am at the Arizona State Capitol building.