Drug Policy

Marijuana Initiative Roundup

|

This week an initiative that would legalize medical use of marijuana qualified for the ballot in Arizona:

The initiative would allow terminally and seriously ill patients suffering from specified diseases or conditions to use marijuana with their doctor's approval. It also allows for state authorities to add diseases or conditions to that list. The initiative creates a registry system for patients and caregivers and establishes penalties for false statements and fraudulent IDs.

Patients would have to procure their medicine at a regulated medical marijuana dispensary unless they live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary. In that case, patients or their caregivers could grow up to 12 plants. No caregiver could grow for more than five patients. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces.

Sixty-five percent of Arizona voters endorsed medical marijuana back in 1996 (the same year California became the first state to let patients use the drug), but the state legislature overturned the initiative. In 1998 Arizonans voted to reinstate the measure, but it never took effect because of a drafting error. The initiative purported to let doctors "prescribe" rather than "recommend" marijuana, a legally fatal mistake because prescriptions are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act.

In other marijuana initiative news (mostly courtesy of the Drug War Chronicle):

  • The latest poll shows support for California's legalization initiative dipping below 50 percent, but opponents are still outnumbered by eight points, with 10 percent undecided.
  • A new survey finds that 52 percent of Washington voters agree with the idea of "removing state civil and criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana," which is what a ballot initiative whose supporters are still gathering signatures would do.
  • An initiative that would eliminate municipal penalties for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana has qualified for the ballot in Detroit.
  • A recent poll finds that 54 percent of Texans think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes (compared to national support of 60 percent to 75 percent, depending on the phrasing); half of them (27 percent) think it should be legal for recreational use as well (compared to more than 40 percent of Americans generally).

 [Thanks to Suzanne Wills for the Texas tip.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

20 responses to “Marijuana Initiative Roundup

  1. There are no sick people that use marijuana. They’re all just druggies looking for their fix. If they were actually sick people, the government wouldn’t allow them to imbibe poison. Thank you legalizer-in-chief!

    1. There’s no real use xanax or other prescription drugs. Social anxiety and ADD, come on it’s made up to sell more drugs. Ok, maybe they are real but I bet you marijuana can solve all those problems, without the side effects of prescription drugs.

      And all the lives ruined and lost because of alcohol, yet it’s still legal to sell. Why can’t we just smoke a lil weed and make music and movies you everyone love so much.

      Only thing wrong with marijuana is that if you get caught, you can’t get a good job. So lets legalize or decriminalize already and banned alcohol, cuz they had that right the first time.

  2. “The initiative purported to let doctors “prescribe” rather than “recommend” marijuana, a legally fatal mistake because prescriptions are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act.”

    Thats what happens when you try writing a law on a mary jane jag.
    Why do you think they call it dope?

  3. Will this allow apply to Hispanics?

  4. The initiative purported to let doctors “prescribe” rather than “recommend” marijuana, a legally fatal mistake because prescriptions are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act.

    Only because of someone’s twisted interpret’n of statutes. The CSA nowhere purports to control prescribing. All it does is lay out conditions under which certain drugs can be legally dispensed, among which is according to certain prescriptions.

    No law in any jurisdiction I know of forbids anyone from prescribing anything to anyone. All a prescription is is someone telling someone else, “Take this.” So there’s no legal difference between “prescribing” and “recommending” a course of action.

    Actually it may be for that reason that the initiative in question was thrown out — because doctors (and everybody else) was already allowed to prescribe marijuana.

  5. They need provisions in these laws forbiding state/local LEO’s from cooperating with the feds when the decide to ignore the law.

  6. If there is one city in the country that could benefit IMMEDIATELY from marijuana legalization, it’s Detroit.

    For godsakes, people still LIVE in that city. Let them smoke weed already! In fact, they should pay people in weed to stay in Detroit.

  7. I really hope that everyone is going to throw their weight behind getting the CA measure passed. IMO, it’s probably the single most important ballot measure in a long time.

    Which is why of course you will see drug warriors accross the nation lining up to stop this.

  8. In 1998 Arizonans voted to reinstate the measure, but it never took effect because of a drafting error. The initiative purported to let doctors “prescribe” rather than “recommend” marijuana, a legally fatal mistake because prescriptions are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act.

    Is this what happens when potheads write law?

    1. Fuck, our you-know-who troll wrote the same thing.

      I was just being snarky.

      1. the pot side effects alter your time perception Paul

        at least you didn’t try to microwave a baby…this time

  9. The juanita spoofs are getting lame. Maybe it’s because I never saw the real juanita in action.

    BRING BACK LEFITI! BRING BACK LEFITI!

    1. How many times have you become violently angry while on pot, doper?

  10. I wanted to point out that the blog post is inaccurate on Texas.

    Q33. What is your opinion on the legalization of marijuana possession?
    1. Marijuana possession should not be legal 27% under any circumstances.
    2. Marijuana possession should be legal for 27% medical purposes only.
    3. Possession of small amounts of marijuana for 28% any purpose should be legal.
    4. Possession of any amount of marijuana for any 14%
    purpose should be legal.
    5. Don’t know 3%

    If you add up the Texans that think that possession of recreational marijuana should be legal in any amount with the Texans that think recreational marijuana should be legal in small amounts, it’s 42% of Texans. Therefore 42% of Texans want recreational marijuana legal in either small amounts or any amount.

    Moreover, you can pretty much assume that 42% would also support medical marijuana. So add 27 to 42 and you get 69% of Texans that support at the least legal possession of medical marijuana.

    So in summary
    42% of Texans support legalization of recreational marijuana
    69% of Texans support legalization of medical marijuana

  11. Of course, depending on how well the Texas legislation proposes marijuana regulation and taxation for general social use, you could have support in the in the middle range between 42 – 69%, i.e. 51% supporting it.

  12. Still True, no matter what doped up libertarians say…

    http://video.google.com/videop…..128930236#

  13. Hopefully Arizona’s new initiative will be more effective than their 1996 mmj ballot initiative that did nothing to open up access. The problem then was they worded the law so that doctors could “prescribe” marijuana. Virginia has a law like this too but it does nothing to open up access to medical marijuana. It needs to call for patients with a doctors recommendation to be allowed to get their marijuana at a dispensary or grow it at home. You can’t “prescribe” marijuana because of the CSA, just as pharmacists can’t dispense marijuana. Its bullshit but so are symbolic laws.

    1. And is Arizona’s new ballot initiative setting up government run dispensaries like NJ?

  14. what the fuck are you talking about..some people do need marijuana, not all of them are “druggies looking for a fix” thats a really dumb thing to say. im sure some are just taking advantage but i know for a fact some people need and benefit greatly from usage of marijuana.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.