On November 02, 2010, Arizona Proposition 203 AKA the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” was approved by 50.13% of voters. Proposition 203 removed all state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of medical marijuana (also referred to as medical weed, medical pot or medical cannabis) by qualifying patients, who obtain a recommendation from an Arizona licensed physician and register with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).
The law requires the ADHS to establish a registration and renewal application system for patients and nonprofit dispensaries, as well as a web-based verification system for law enforcement and dispensaries, to verify registry identification cards. Patients may legally use and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, in a 14-day period. However, if a patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary, the patient/caregiver may cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants in a securely enclosed facility.
Patients in Arizona diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Arizona Medical Marijuana law, as per Ballot Proposition 203 “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act”:
Cancer; glaucoma; or positive status for the human immunodeficiency virus; Hepatitis C; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease); Crohn’s disease; agitation of Alzheimer’s disease; or the treatment of these conditions,
Or, 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.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), effective January 01, 2015.
In 2014, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services approved the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of Arizona medical marijuana qualifications. The decision allowed PTSD sufferers to use cannabis for palliative care rather than as a specific treatment for the condition.
But advocates paid little attention to the differentiation, as they had long wanted the state to include PTSD in the list of medical marijuana qualifications in Arizona. The director cited a study then published in a medical journal that provided evidence that cannabis could help alleviate some of the symptoms suffered by PTSD patients.
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Arizona will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
According to Arizona medical marijuana laws, qualified patients or their registered designated caregivers may obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period, from a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. If the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary, the patient or caregiver may cultivate no more than 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.