Taking a lesson or two from the states that allow the use of medical marijuana, regulators in Arizona are proposing strict rules for potential users and prescribers of medical marijuana in the state, according to a feature on The Washington Post.
Estimates now peg the number of people who can potentially use medical marijuana, under the stricter rules, at no more than 20,000 – a decline from the earlier estimate of 100,000 patients. The changes to the estimates were made after a review of the rules that are being followed in other states that allow the use of medical marijuana, as well as the number of users in those 14 states.
During a news conference, Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, shared: “We figured hey, if we put some true checks and balances in this system, we can actually make this a medical marijuana program and not a recreational marijuana program.”
Arizona became the 15th state to allow the use of medical marijuana after the November vote.
The medical marijuana ballot measure in Arizona will allow patients who are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other chronic diseases, to buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks, or grow a limited number of plants – that is, if they live 25 miles from a marijuana dispensary.
In order to qualify for treatment using medical marijuana, a patient should secure a recommendation from an Arizona doctor who has been seeing the patient for at least a year, or has compiled a medical history of the patient, conducted a comprehensive exam and reviewed medical records before taking over primary care, among other rules.