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New rules released on Medical Marijuana in AZ

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:14 PM
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GLOBE — On Jan. 31, 2011 the Arizona Department of Health Services released revised rules for the regulation of the approved medical marijuana bill that passed in the November general election last year.

The revised rules place a substantial amount of responsibility on the prescribing physician, who must “identify the debilitating medical conditions” had by the qualifying patient as well as provide a statement that the physician agrees to assume responsibility for providing management and routine care of the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical conditions.

The physician must also submit a statement that he/she has established a medical record for the qualifying patient and is maintaining these records throughout the treatment. The physician is also required to review all medical records for the qualifying patient from all other treating physicians within the previous 12 months, and review the qualifying patient’s response to conventional medications and medical therapies.

An in-person exam is required to diagnose the debilitating condition that would qualify for the use of medical marijuana.

These precautions are hoping to prevent a lax system that may lose oversight and control of who receives a medical marijuana registry ID card.

Arizona is now the fifteenth state in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. that has legalized the use of medical marijuana. Cities and towns in the state of Arizona will begin placing bids to locate a medical marijuana dispensary in their city limits on May 1, 2011. Applications will be accepted for 30 days. Globe is among the cities vying for a dispensary to be located within the city limits. According to City Manager, Kane Graves, the city is looking to have the dispensary located in the vicinity of the Globe Police Department. High security measures will also be in place. The dispensary would be professionally run by Globe Farmacy. The exact location has not been decided at this time, but a public hearing to discuss the matter is set to take place today Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

According to the Department of Health and Safety rules, medical marijuana can be prescribed by a physician for the following conditions:

1. Cancer;

2. Glaucoma;

3. Human immunodeficiency virus;

4. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;

5. Hepatitis C;

6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;

7. Crohn’s disease;

8. Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease;

9. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or

debilitating disease or medical condition that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome;

10. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or

debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe and chronic pain;

11. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or

debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe nausea;

12. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or

debilitating disease or medical condition that causes seizures, including those

characteristic of epilepsy;

13. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or

debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe or persistent muscle spasms,

including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

14. A debilitating medical condition or treatment approved by the Department under A.R.S. 

36-2801.01 and R9-17-106.

A qualifying patient registry ID card would cost $160. The Department also reserves the right to revoke an ID card or deny a card to a qualifying patient on grounds established in the rules, including the lack of evidence of a debilitating condition, or if evidence of misuse of the substance is found. Patients are not allowed to give marijuana to other patients, and can be prosecuted if they do so.

The Department of Health and Safety has established Community Health Analysis Areas, based on the number of chronic ill patients, which will be used to determine the location of the dispensaries throughout the state. The public is invited to provide their comments to the Department at the website: http://azdhs.gov/prop203/.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:14 PM
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