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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials June 27, 2016

2/4/2012 1:11:00 PM
Editorial: That grating sound is friction of marijuana law

Arizona law seems to be forever pushing up against federal law, and the grating sound is becoming unbearable.

Sometimes it’s political defiance and sometimes it’s nonsense. We’ve had a bit of both with SB 1070. Sometimes it’s Arizonans challenging Washington, D.C., and sometimes it’s our state legislators resisting the will of Arizonans. We have a big mix of both with the medical-marijuana law.

State officials are notoriously bad losers when a citizens’ initiative they do not like is approved by voters. The marijuana issue has brought out the worst in them. That grating sound is their teeth grinding.

The results of the medical-marijuana initiative have been legitimate friction with federal law in various quarters as well as an illegitimate pile of excuses that elected officials have thrown onto the path of enactment.

The reasons given for the roadblocks preventing college students from using prescribed medical marijuana sound eerily similar to the rejected arguments the Brewer administration tried out in the state’s Health Department. Both raised the warning that the feds were going to smack Arizona around if state officials followed through on the law’s provisions.

We were warned that state employees would get arrested by Washington’s anti-drug czars if they dared to allow marijuana dispensaries and prescriptions. The federal court not only shrugged that off but also warned Brewer that her foot-dragging was illegal. Now, lawmakers want us to believe that allowing medical marijuana on university and college campus for the few that need it would result in a loss of federal funding.

Obviously, there are federal laws against illegal controlled substances. But Arizona voters made medical marijuana a legal controlled substance. There’s that grating sound again.

The big stick called “The Feds” can be effectively brandished at the convenience of lawmakers, but they have been waving it so frequently during the marijuana transition that it has lost its threat.

The medical-marijuana law does grind against some federal regulations, but Arizona’s best efforts should go into assisting the legal conversion, which is complicated enough, instead of defying state voters. An anti-marijuana stand may be the high moral ground, but tactics against the law are growing unethical.

If it continues, that grating sound will be friction from Arizonans tired of their wishes being ignored.

Related Stories:
• College ban on medical marijuana could lead to lawsuit
• AZ lawmakers craft bill to deny medical marijuana to college students
• Marijuana dispensaries to be in business by summer
• Federal judge sidesteps governor's question over medical marijuana law

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Article comment by: Rufus Kagan

Whatever happened to "for the people, by the people"?

Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012
Article comment by: Anne Haywood

The voters legalized it...remember that well over half of all votes have said yes multiple occasions...who's in bed with who financially? What's United Healthcare's/health care conglomerate take on this? Why don't we ask the editorial? Who's upset...looks like the legislators, once again. And who are they in bed with? (United Healthcare owns Banner, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, APIPA insurance United Healthcare contributes to regulations on healthcare... and yet throughout this monopoly, it is legal for them to simultaneously monopolize healthcare history in their possession, not care for patients on their insurance, while not authorizing treatments for profit). United Healthcare's Banner hospitals will share medical history and give record at their own facilities, but not transfer medical records--that are actual medical records, to competitors. And if records are transferred, United Healthcare collection agencies won't comply to federal regulations on statute of limitations. There is no transfer in a timely manner...United Healthcare is a financial glutton, negligent and fraudulent to support their extortion practices in collecting money, for cheapened healthcare that at best, is no where near American Medical Association/AMA standards. So while all of the U.S. citizens and legal residents are sitting home disabled from accidents or injuries, sickness or disease--losing their homes while months turn into years, just remember that those United Healthcare CEO's are pulling in their $6 million per year, while you are losing the shirt off your back, literally. When was the last time you were represented by legislators--who incidentally have much better healthcare, in this medical mess that we call healthcare in the U.S.?

Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Article comment by: Earnest Guy

The elephant in the corner is that our elected officials continue to refuse to represent the will of the majority. We hired them to do a job - to implement our collective will. They refuse to do their job. Insubordinate employees should let go. Give them a pink slip.

Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Article comment by: Well reasoned argument

This is a well reasoned argument, and one that I agree with.

Not to mention that controlled use of marijuana had been previously approved by voters, what, 3 times before?

Yes, on this issue it would be refreshing if our representatives in the legislature would quit stalling and put into action the will of the people.

Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

Governor Brewer's rhetoric has calmed down post Pearce recall. The way to best send a message to the governor is make certain that we act locally. Does anyone remember during the local debates over medical marijuana that a organization named matforce falsely claimed that a two year old had a medical marijuana card in an disgusting attempt at manipulation. These liars never apologized to the people of Yavapai county for there transgressions, they are not lay people, these known public liars are in positions of power. These people have offended me, my fellow citizens and have tried to deny medicine to the terminally ill. I urge everyone to call Cottonwood city council and say, "Fire the liar"., Call the Yavapai supervisors and say, "Fire the liar". Call the Verde rural fire department and say, "Fire the liar". All of these people are self appointed moral authorities with no morals (they lied in a public forum in an attempt to deny dying people relief!) so lets send the governor a clear message and fire the liars.

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