Originally published November 17 2010
Arizona voters approve medical marijuana
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Arizona voters recently passed Proposition 203, a measure that legalizes marijuana use in the state for medicinal purposes. The passage of the new law makes Arizona the 15th U.S. state to approve marijuana as a legal treatment for chronic and debilitating illness.
Passed by a slim margin of just a few thousands votes, Prop. 203 permits patients with critical diseases like AIDS, cancer, and hepatitis C, to purchase up to two and a half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Such patients can also legally grow marijuana plants for personal use as well, as long as they receive a proper doctor recommendation and register with the Arizona Department of Health Services.
"Now begins the very hard work of implementing this program in the way it was envisioned, with very high standards," explained Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project. "We really believe that we have an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the country on what a good medical marijuana program looks like."
Though close to a million Arizonans supported the measure, not everyone was thrilled with the outcome. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, attorney general Terry Goddard, and all Arizona sheriffs and county prosecutors opposed the bill, warning that its passage could lead to increase crime, impaired driving, and full legalization in the future.
In California, however, voters rejected Proposition 19 which would have legalized marijuana use for everyone in the state. California first approved marijuana for medical use in 1996, and 13 other states and the District of Columbia followed suit in subsequent years. No U.S. state has yet approved marijuana for general use.
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