Arizona Representative John Kavanagh is introducing a bill which would repeal the state’s medical marijuana law that was passed by voters in 2010. The bill, currently called House Concurrent Resolution 2003, will need to make is through the legislature this spring in order to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
Kavanagh never supported AZ’s medical marijuana law, but was inspried to fight for its repeal after seeing results of a 2012 student survey that he believed showed that 1 in 10 school children who smoke marijuana in the state get it from medical marijuana patients. Kavanagh did not address the fact that more students received marijuana from their friends (72%), at parties (28.6%), ‘other’ (23.7%), at school (13.4%), or from family/relatives (14.8%) than from medical card holders (11.6%).
The survey also showed that one in six of those surveyed got alcohol from their parents and 30% of those surveyed who used prescriptions drugs to get high got them from their family’s medicine cabinet.
While he did say, “Let’s crack down on parents and people who provide the other substances to kids. Let’s not simply add a third item and make it even more available to children,” Kavanagh has not taken any steps to keep alcohol or prescription pills away from children.
Keep AZ Drug Free Chairwoman Carolyn Short supports Rep. Kavanagh’s efforts. “We just want to get rid of it,” she explained. “There is nothing good about it. I don’t know what the legitimate use of marijuana is. The FDA says it is a substance that cannot be used, even under the direction or care of a doctor.”
Short continued by rejecting that marijuana has any benefits, saying that “Any benefits to the few participants in the medical marijuana program who are seriously ill are overwhelmingly outweighed by the harm to our kids and communities.”
If truth be told, Arizona’s medical marijuana program hasn’t even been given a shot to do any harm to children, not that it would. The program has been greatly stalled, and few legal medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed to open to serve patients. A state that’s supposed to have over 100 legal collectives has only seen three open their doors since medical marijuana was legalized in 2010.
While the state’s medical marijuana act initially passed by a slim margin, more people than ever now support the law. New polls show that 59% of Arizonans are in favor or medical marijuana. Additionally, 59% of Arizonans were found to be in favor of full legalization of marijuana. Those numbers aren’t stopping Kavanagh, though they may in 2014 if his proposed repeal actually makes it to the ballot.
In order to get the repeal onto the 2014 ballot, Kavanagh just needs to get a simple majority in the House and Senate.