Local efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona - Tucson News Now

Local efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona

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    Mayura Dissanayaka was behind the counter when he noticed his fellow employee return after a run to the bank. An SUV pulled in the parking lot and two men jumped out to grab the bank bag.

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Signatures are coming in for the group Safer Arizona, a drive working to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona this year.

Local marijuana advocate, Bob Clark, is trying to put the initiative on the November ballot. He said: "No one should have to go to jail for using nature."

Clark's proposal would allow people 18 and older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use, not solely for medicinal purposes.

With medical marijuana now legal in our state, dispensaries are staying out of the conversation entirely when it comes to legalizing pot. There is a bigger issue for them and that's helping more patients.

"We want the focus to remain there and adding conditions like PTSD and chronic depression to the list of pre approved conditions for medical marijuana card holders," said the manager of the Nature Med dispensary Jacob Schmidt.

Schmidt said business is growing for their north west side dispensary and they are trying to educate people on the big medical benefits of marijuana.

According to a new report by the state health department, there are more than 5,000 medical marijuana card holders in Pima County alone.  More than 3 tons of medical marijuana sold throughout Arizona and the state expects on the record sales for this year as high as 10 tons.

The Arizona Department of Health Services again denied adding PTSD, depression, and migraines to the list of medical conditions that qualify people for a medical-marijuana card. 

DHS Director Will Humble wrote on his blog today that he "didn't approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions."

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