Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

New push for Arizona for medical marijuana

PHOENIX — An initiative planned for the state ballot next year would ask Arizona voters to legalize medical marijuana and allow some patients to grow their own drug supply.

It’s the fourth time since 1996 that state voters have been asked to decriminalize marijuana as a medical treatment.

Local supporters, backed by the national Marijuana Policy Project, have their sights set on the 2010 general election and plan to submit ballot language to the Secretary of State’s Office as early as next week.

The initiative would allow individuals with illnesses ranging from cancer to HIV/AIDS or glaucoma to seek a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana, according to draft ballot language obtained by The Arizona Republic.

Eligible individuals would be able to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of the drug every 14 days from a series of nonprofit outlets, known as dispensaries.

Patients in rural areas of the state could cultivate a limited number of their own marijuana plants.

The initiative would shield from state prosecution the doctors who recommend marijuana for medical treatment, the dispensary workers who provide it and the patients who use it.

Thirteen states already have legalized medical marijuana in some fashion, though only California has established a widespread network of dispensaries to distribute it.

Proponents of medical marijuana say it can relieve pain and suffering.

Supporters of the Arizona initiative say it would provide another treatment alternative to the desperately ill, sparing them and their family from having to brave the underground drug market and risk criminal prosecution.

Skeptics question marijuana’s medicinal benefits and wonder whether efforts to legalize it for the sick and dying are a prelude to decriminalization for everyone else in the future.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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