Dear AZ-NORML Readers,
Once again we find ourselves nearing the end of the session with a critical cannabis testing bill still in play but being challenged by some industry lobbyists. You may recall last year that AZ-NORML tangled with ADA lobbyist, Joe Demenna, over Sen Sonny Borrelli’s testing bill, SB1420. In the end the lobbyists succeeded in peeling off enough votes to scuttle the bill. We don’t want that to happen this time.
Even national NORML in DC has taken up the cause and posted an action alert to rally Arizonans to fight for this bill. I have asked you to write your own letter to your legislators and legislative leaders to tell them SB1494 matters to you. But I know not everyone is comfortable that they have the background to write a fancy, smancy letter. In the spirit of encouraging everyone to try anyway, here is a copy of a letter I sent out this morning. It’s not perfect, but it will give you an idea of what can be done.
Feel free to copy and paste it entirely or to write your own story. Most importantly, try and try now. Progress is critical right now. Find your state legislator here; find out their contact info here.
Once again, I thank you for all the support you have shown to my work and for cannabis reforms in Arizona. This is the third year in a row, cannabis testing legislation has made it so far in the session. I am writing for your support for Sen David Gowan’s SB1494. There are many good things about this bill. Here is a link to my article about it:
And here is a link to my coverage of the latest stakeholder meeting that discusses the push back the bill is facing from some in the cannabis industry:
I feel sure by now you are hearing from some industry lobbyists they need to wait to a different year, or there are complications that make this bill unworkable. I assure you those are intentional distractions. It is the same tactic we faced last year for a far less well-built bill, and, in the end, that effort failed. This bill has been crafted by some of the most experienced lawmakers in the state through multiple stakeholder meetings that go all the way back to 2017. SB1494 has the full support of the testing community and was crafted after years of research comparing testing programs in other states to fine tune our approach.
Arizona is now the only state in the nation without a testing program for the medical marijuana sold to sick people. Changes to the state medical marijuana program are Prop105 protected. We need unified support to reach the 3/4s mark for passage. I urge you to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
I also encourage you to attend tonight’s monthly meeting of the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association (MITA-AZ) and see for yourself what this half a billion-dollar industry looks like. I personally believe in government and the legislature. I believe you are working for the best for Arizona. Getting a cannabis testing bill passed is the best thing we can do for Arizona’s two hundred thousand patients. Please vote yes on SB1494.