Dispensary operators ask lawmakers to drop medical pot vendetta - New York News

Dispensary operators ask lawmakers to drop medical marijuana vendetta

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PHOENIX -

Medical marijuana dispensary owners and patients who rely on the drug are urging Arizona lawmakers to not consider legislation that would repeal Prop 203.

Republican State Representative John Kavanagh has introduced a bill that would put Arizona's medical marijuana law back on the ballot in November 2014.

He says that would allow voters to reconsider their decision to pass Prop 203.

Among other things, Kavanagh says medical marijuana is dangerous and ineffective.

"No medical authority says that this could help anybody. It's being diverted to children, it's still against federal law and the program shows massive abuse, people claiming pain who may easily be faking it. Are there some people who are legitimate medical conditions in pain? There sure are, but to them I would say no medical authority says that this is helping you, they all say its harming you and until there's proof that it helps anybody then we shouldn't allow it to be dispensed anywhere," says Rep. John Kavanagh, Fountain Hills Republican.

Owners of medical marijuana dispensaries say they should be left alone.

They say police and prosecutors should focus on going after so-called "compassion clubs," where people can get marijuana by paying a "donation."

Those clubs are not closely monitored or regulated by the state.

"We're all linked together in a database the legal dispensaries so we know what we're doing, the state knows what we're doing," says Bill Myer, Arizona Organix in Glendale.

"The policies are good, the state has done a magnificent job creating a program that we should all be proud of and I really believe as we go forward and medical marijuana becomes approved in more and more states, that Arizona could be and should be the model."

"We want this to be given a chance so that all of the patients in Arizona who need this medicine are given the opportunity to have it," says Ken Sobel, The Green Halo, Tucson.

Also speaking at the state capitol -- medical marijuana patients who say repealing prop 203 is not the way to go.

"This is the only thing that I've found that gives me some thing so I can get through the day. To just get through the day is a big deal because MS takes your life away if you're not careful," says Rebecca Perry, Air Force veteran who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

"I suffer from a seizure disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. I've tired many medications through the VA. I've found medical marijuana seems to be the only thing that helps my condition, it doesn't cure, it calms it to enough where I can bear it and I can maintain my day," says Greg Plunkett, U.S. Navy veteran.

"This is a good thing for patients and I'm sure that if you talk to any patients, especially MS patients, this is a godsend. There is a different component to medical marijuana that no one talks about, it just makes it easier to deal with the fact that you have to deal with this disease," says Jim Dyer, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Nearly 34,000 Arizonans are medical marijuana card holders.

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