Arizona passes medical-marijuana initiative “upon further review”

To borrow a football term from the NFL, “upon further review,” Proposition 203 is becoming law — and a bad one at that.

On Election Day, November 2, Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act ballot initiative, Proposition 203, was defeated by 7,200 votes. Eleven days later, as votes were still being counted, Proposition 203 was still losing — by 1,500 votes. On the 12th day after the election, late-counted votes from Maricopa County (Phoenix) pushed Proposition 203 to a new “high.” And on the 13th day, they rested… and perhaps toked up.

Proposition 203, the fourth attempt by legalization advocates to pass an enforceable “medical-marijuana” legalization in Arizona, finally won — after four votes over 14 years,  plus another 12 days of counting and recounting.

The final tally:

FOR – 841,346 (50.13%)

AGAINST – 837,005 (49.87%)

Of 1,678,351 votes cast, the margin of victory was 4,341.

It took twelve days to count the ballots? They must have used an abacus. In Marijuana-toke-us (Maricopa) County, apparently they counted and they counted… until they got the result they wanted.

Advocates of Proposition 203 pushed hard for “compassion” for terminally ill cancer and HIV patients.

However, the Proposition 203 advocacy funding came largely from ubër-liberal billionaire George Soros and his pro-legalization pet organizations — long-time, broad-based marijuana legalization supporters. The real issue is not providing for terminally ill cancer patients, it is accommodating those who grow, sell, and use marijuana for “recreational” purposes.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk underscored this point in an editorial in the September 29, 2010 Prescott News:

I have done the research… consider these statistics from states who have adopted laws to “decriminalize marijuana for terminally ill patients”:  97-98% of medical marijuana cardholders are aged 17-to-35 and suffer from “chronic pain,” while only 2-3% of cardholders suffer from cancer, glaucoma, HIV and other debilitating illnesses.  Under Proposition 203, a “cardholder” is entitled to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks amounting to 140 marijuana joints (10 joints per day).  These large amounts of unmonitored and unregulated marijuana are grown, harvested, and consumed in the community” (emphasis added).

Forget, for the moment, what the medical community widely tells us about there being ample — and safer — alternatives to marijuana for medical relief for these 2-3% who are actually ill. Instead, consider ten marijuana joints a day for 14 straight days… and then a repeat of this cycle over and over. All that for a “debilitating injury”? Sounds pretty debilitating unto itself to me.

Proposition 203 was opposed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R), and U.S. Senators John McCain (R) and Jon Kyl (R), as well as the Arizona Cardinals football team, most major newspapers in the state, law enforcement, the employer community, and many prominent religious leaders.

In fact, Governor Brewer said, “Almost all marijuana recommendations come from a few doctors [who] for, say, $150, prescribe pot to nearly everyone… compassion will quickly turn to capitalism.”

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Proposition 203 would allow:

A “qualifying patient” who has a “debilitating medical condition” to obtain an “allowable amount of marijuana” from a “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary” and to use the marijuana to treat or alleviate the debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the condition.

Once a “qualifying patient” submits a doctor’s prescription to the Arizona Department of Health Services and receives a medical-marijuana card, the cardholder can obtain up to 2.5 ounces per 14-day period, or if he or she lives more than 25 miles from a dispensary, the holder (or his or her “caregiver”) can grow their own — up to 12 marijuana plants each.