As represented on this timeline, the History of Marijuana as Medicine started back in 2900 BC
The federal government in the United States continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 Substance, meaning it has no accepted medical value and it has a high potential for abuse
This federal law has not stopped states from legalizing marijuana. In 1996, California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 8 states and the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia
1996 – Proposition 200
- Arizona was one of the leaders in the fight to legalize marijuana.
- In 1996, voters approved Proposition 200 (65% – 35%).
- Proposition 200 was a drug policy reform initiative; however, it also contained a provision allowing the use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription.
1998 – Proposition 300
- A technicality in terminology caused repeal of the medical marijuana portion of proposition 200 a few months after its approval by voters in 1996.
- Proposition 200 allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana; however, a prescription was prohibited by federal law.
- Future propositions corrected the language to avoid conflict with federal law by replacing the term prescription with recommendation.
- The revision of Proposition 200, named Promposition300, was rejected by voters in 1998.
2002 – Proposition 203
- Arizona voters failed to legalize medical marijuana (42.7% – 57.3%).
2010 – Proposition 203
- With a narrow majority, Arizona approves medical marijuana (50.1% – 49.9%).
2016 – Proposition 205
- Recreational marijuana failed to win a majority of the voter’s support (48.7% – 51.3%)
- The proposed legislation would have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults of 21, with regulation similar to alcohol, including a 15 percent tax on retail sales.
2018 – In Progress
- Recreational marijuana may get on the November 2018 ballot.
- Initial paperwork filed allows the committee until July 2018, to obtain 156,042 signatures to qualify to get on the ballot.
As of September 2016, Arizona has about 100,000 medical marijuana patients and about 100 operating state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) regulates the Arizona medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).
Who can purchase medical marijuana?
- An Arizona medical marijuana card is needed to purchase it:
- Recommendation required from a state-licensed doctor.
- Patient must have at least once qualifying condition.
- Allows for the purchase and possession of up to 2.5 ounces from a state-licensed dispensary every two weeks.
- Special qualifications can permit patient to grow up to 12 pants or find a caregiver to grow for them.
- Patients under 18 years old must apply with their custodial parent or legal guardian.
- The qualifying patient may designate a caregiver.
What medical conditions qualify?
- Qualifying medical conditions:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
- Severe and chronic pain;
- Severe nausea;
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- If your medical condition is missing from the list of qualifying medical conditions, Arizona permits individuals to request additions to the list.
Who can write a medical marijuana certification in Arizona?
- Physicians with a valid Arizona license may who have a physician-patient relationship with the patient may write a medical marijuana certification on the specified ADHS form for a patient with a qualifying condition. These physicians include Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H) or DO(H)], and Naturopathic [NMD or ND].
- The law does not require a physician to write medical marijuana certifications for a patient with a qualifying condition.
- If the diagnosing physician chooses not to write the certificate, a patient can consult with another physician to obtain the written certification. The new physical must certify that he has made or confirmed the patient’s qualifying medical condition, and the physician declares he has undertaken specific activities to establish a physician-patient relationship.
- Annually, the patient needs to obtain certification from a physician that the qualifying condition still exists.
Click here to learn the steps involved in obtaining your medical marijuana card in Arizona.