Marijuana Dispensary Numbers in L.A. Much Lower Than City Claims, Says UCLA
Medical Marijuana Fees to Aid Program in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Health Services will soon spend more than $1.2 million from medical marijuana fees to weed out physicians who improperly recommend marijuana to patients, help train marijuana-dispensary staff, hire private accountants or auditors to examine dispensary financial statements, and hire private attorneys to assist the department with legal issues arising from the program.
The Department will also continue to fund a $200,000 contract with the University of Arizona College of Public Health to, in part, review published research about the effectiveness of marijuana in treating medical conditions.
ADHS Director Will Humble said it will all help health officials keep the program as “medical” as possible.
“I’m trying to hit this from the financial angle, the medical angle, the certification angle to try to close as many gaps as I can that could result in bad outcomes for patients,” he said. “That means bringing in expertise that we don’t have in-house.”
Arizona has collected about $9.3 million in fees from cardholders and dispensary applicants since the program began last year. Officials have spent about $2.5 million on staff, its contract with the University of Arizona and technology. About $6 million remains in the medical-marijuana fee coffers.
But some think the fees should not be spent in this manner, like Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, who said she is unaware of any other states using fees in this manner.
She said patients, many of whom are poor, should not have to subsidize state programs to pay for their medicine. “They’re already in a financial hardship, they’re already suffering from some kind of ailment.”
Be that as it may, rest assured that state officials in Arizona will continue on as they are. It’s ironic that it will finally be tax and fee money that brings about legalization; governments can’t resist sucking up money like a Dyson, and will eventually get the $ they feel they deserve.
Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Responds to GOP VP Nominee Ryan on Medical Marijuana
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan recently said in a radio interview that while he is opposed to medical marijuana, states should be allowed to decided MMJ policy for themselves.
While we can take Mr. Ryan’s words with the proverbial “grain of salt,” his enunciation of them puts medical marijuana in the news, which is always a good thing.
A Presidential candidate that actually supports medical marijuana and legalization in general, Gary Johnson, took the opportunity to release a statement responding to Ryan’s words.
"While I applaud Paul Ryan's words, this is not the first time we have heard a candidate for national office express a willingness to tolerate state medical marijuana laws, so 'buyer beware',” Governor Johnson said. “Barack Obama categorically pledged to not use federal resources to go after medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally under state law, and his Justice Department even issued a memo to that effect. But what's happened? The Obama Administration has proven to be an even greater enemy to medical marijuana than President George W. Bush.
"We've heard Barack Obama's words, and seen his actions. Now we've heard Paul Ryan's words. And all we really know about Mitt Romney on this issue is that he doesn't want to talk about it, having rebuffed questions from the media and a medical marijuana patient.
“Medical marijuana may not be an important issue for Gov. Romney, or for any of the other candidates, but it is vitally important to the many Americans who are suffering and who could be helped if the Feds would just get out of the way. Polls show 70 percent of Americans believe states should be free to permit medical marijuana. We need to know where Mitt Romney stands."
Mitt Romney has said he opposes medical marijuana on at least two occasions, and the odds of him slowing the federal crackdown if elected are slim at best.
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