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Arizonans may get a chance to decide if they want to let farmers here grow an industrial — and not psychoactive — version of marijuana.
Cannabis helps prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer. Cannabis is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances on the planet. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many, if not most, of the diseases of the human body.
Prosecutors in three Arizona counties are using new figures on where teens now get their marijuana to lobby against making the drug legal for all adults. But the data may not be as clear-cut as it seems.
A medical marijuana card is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for motorists found with active components of the drug in their system, no matter how little, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
PHOENIX -- Arizona's chief health officer is proposing to make it more difficult to add new conditions to the list for which doctors can recommend the drug.
The change would require "clear and convincing evidence'' published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that there is some benefit from the use of marijuana to humans for the specified medical condition. State Health Director Will Humble said that probably means multiple articles.
That's a big change from the current regulations which allow consideration of "a summary of the evidence'' that marijuana will either help treat the condition or at least provide some relief from symptoms. And while the current rules also ask for articles in scientific journals, there is no mandate that the research be "evidence based'' -- or that the conclusions be clear and convincing.
Humble's proposal comes months after he effectively was required, against his own judgment, to allow doctors to make medical marijuana available for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He originally had rejected the application as being based largely on anecdotal evidence. But Humble reversed himself when a state hearing officer pointed out that his agency's own rules specifically require him to consider such evidence.
And Humble said had his proposed rules been in effect at the time, he never would have made marijuana available for PTSD.
The move drew opposition from Jeffrey Kaufman, an attorney whose practice includes representing marijuana dispensaries.
"The governments have constructed a complex and impossible program and maze for anyone to get medical marijuana studies funding,'' he said. "So, obviously, it's going to be impossible for anybody to have any type of peer-reviewed literature or studies.''
That's also the assessment of attorney Ken Sobel who brought the legal challenge that resulted in Humble adding PTSD to the list. And he said a lawsuit is likely if Humble goes ahead with the change.
"It would be really in violation of the voters' intent,'' Sobel said, saying wanted an easy method of adding conditions because of the legal roadblocks to scientific research.
But Humble is defending the new restriction.
"I want everything we do to be based on evidence and data,'' he said.
The 2010 The voter-approved law allows the use of the drug by patients suffering from a list of specific medical conditions, ranging from glaucoma and AIDS to any chronic or debilitating condition that leads to severe and chronic plan. At last count, close to 53,000 people have qualified under that existing list, allowing them to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.
That 2010 law, however, also requires Humble to consider requests to expand the list of conditions for which marijuana can be legally recommended by a doctor.
Humble had rejected repeated efforts to add PTSD to the list, saying there was a lack of scientific studies.
But in June, a hearing officer said the agency's own rules require Humble to consider the anecdotal testimony of doctors and nurses who said the drug has helped their patients. And Humble backed down after proponents, in what he called "a stroke of luck,'' also came up with a study out of New Meixco that found what he said was "an association between cannabis used and PTSD symptoms in some patients.''
Still, Humble said all that probably would not meet the new standards.
"The rules that we're proposing today make it really clear that it needs to be not just published data but published data that's convincing,'' he said. "And not just one, unless it's a really, really good study.''
He said the single study on PTSD that was presented to him did not meet the standard for "clear and convincing evidence.'' In fact, the study says that further research is necessary.
A marijuana advocacy group is challenging limits imposed by state Health Director Will Humble on how and when patients with post-traumatic stress disorder can legally use the drug.
“Are we fighting a war on terror or aren’t we? It is time to fight or go away.”
Medical marijuana users have no right to grow their own plants once a dispensary moves within 25 miles as the crow flies, a state hearing officers concluded Tuesday. But some rural residents may get to start cultivating again next year.
Backers of a would-be medical marijuana researcher are now planning to pressure the Board of Regents to intercede after the University of Arizona will not rehire her.
State judges cannot bar those placed on probation from using medical marijuana if they are otherwise eligible, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday. And that even includes those who were convicted for drug offenses.
The head of the organization offering to fund a study on medical marijuana at the University of Arizona said he will pull the cash unless the school restores fired doctor and researcher Sue Sisley to the staff and the project.
A Pima County Superior Court judge may have paved the way for the state's more than 52,000 medical marijuana users to get into business of selling the drug, at least to each other.
Come Jan. 1, thousands of Arizona veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will soon be able to obtain marijuana legally.
I can only imagine the machismo in the air at Wednesday night’s gubernatorial candidate summit on immigration and border security hosted by Mr. Muy Macho himself, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
A Mesa man and his son each have been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for operating a multi-state drug trafficking organization.
I can only imagine the machismo in the air at last night’s gubernatorial candidate summit on immigration and border security hosted by Mr. Muy Macho himself, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
The state's top health official is weighing new regulations to ensure that users of medical marijuana snacks and drinks know when to stop.
State Health Director Will Humble acted illegally in denying access to medical marijuana to people — many of them former soldiers — suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, an administrative law judge has ruled.
The Mesa City Council on Monday voted against a request to rezone a parcel of land at 6350 E. Main St., just east of Recker Road, which would have allowed a medicinal marijuana dispensary to open there.
I’m writing about Linda Turley-Hansen’s not-so-thoughtful column: “Just like booze and porn, pot changes the brain” (April 27).
Regarding Linda Turley-Hansen’s April 27 op-ed, like any drug, marijuana can be harmful is abused. Marijuana prohibition only increases the risk factor. Prohibition opens up a gateway to hard drugs by granting a monopoly on marijuana distribution to drug cartels that also sell meth, cocaine and heroin. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a grand success. The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees.
Marijuana not as harmless as you thought?
Marijuana not as harmless as you thought?
Arizonans who smoke marijuana can't be charged with driving while impaired absent actual evidence they are affected by the drug, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
Supporters of medical marijuana research have targeted a Republican state senator for recall because she is blocking a measure that could fund it. But the measure could be more public relations than actual political power.