ARIZONA: On March 10th, the bill H.B. 2333, sponsored by State Representative Ethan Orr of Tucson, passed the Arizona House 52-5, with strong bi-partisan support. Under Arizona’s medical marijuana law, the money in the medical marijuana fund is reserved for furthering the provisions of the law and should include research and education. None of it has been spent. H.B. 2333 would give the Arizona Department of Health Services discretion to use some of this surplus funding to study the medical benefits of marijuana. State Senator Kimberly Yee (Phoenix), who chairs the Senate Education Committee, simply refused to put the bill on her committee’s agenda before the March 20th deadline.
“This bill will help a lot of people. Not just combat veterans, but people with chronic illness and pain who can’t find relief anywhere else. Whether you are for recreational use or against it, we should at least know what marijuana does. It’s research – that’s all we are trying to do,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Ethan Orr.
Veterans such as Ricardo Pereyda of Tucson are angry that Senator Yee wouldn’t allow the bill to be heard in her committee. “Being able to treat multiple symptoms from post-traumatic stress with cannabis has been instrumental in my ability to lead a full and productive life,” said Pereyda, “Senator Yee is placing politics before science, and doing so at the expense of our combat veterans.” Pereyda served in the U.S. Army and Military Police Corps, and is the Veterans Liaison for Arizona NORML.