If you have been following our updates on cannabis-related bills at the state capitol you will be thrilled to read that HB2149, AZ’s cannabis definitions bill (an approach designed to solve AZ’s concentrates crisis) have landed a hearing with a Republican ally as chair of the House Public Safety Committee. The bill is designed to amend state criminal drug statutes to clarify protections for concentrated marijuana products under the state MMJ laws. This cause has become the single largest issue in AZ’s MMJ community, both for the industry and for patients.
The committee chair, Rep Kevin Payne, is an ally on cannabis issues. Payne is the sponsor of HB2404 a cannabis defelonization bill and was a leader on last year’s testing bill effort. Rep Payne asked if Arizona NORML could help organize material for the hearing. Reading the committee, I would say it breaks naturally 4-3 in our favor. The four yeses are Andrade (D-LD29), Hernandez D-LD2), and Longdon (D-LD24) are all longtime advocates. Longdon even helped write license apps for The three probable NOs break down like this: one possibly on the fence for this (Campbell, R-LD1), one who met w constituents last week and offered support (Kavanagh, R-LD23) and one who has not taken meetings w AZ-NORML and so is no probably a hard no (Kern, R-LD20). The fourth Republican on the committee is Payne, the chair, who has worked to aid this bill already. Besides the immense amount of suffering this legislation could save, there are Arizonans already awaiting trial for cannabis related class four felony charges incurred since the Jones Decision. Their lives could be impacted. Lastly, the AZ cannabis industry itself is on trial, with more than 40% of the industry at risk. Further, if the Jones Case is affirmed, then ALL the patients who purchased cannabis products from dispensaries since the Jones ruling can hold the dispensaries liable for any damages they’ve suffered. Since there is no testing and so no modicum of product safety, the resulting debris could devastate AZ MMJ as we know it.
But solving this concentrates controversy through statute could end all of that agony. I feel we can clear the committee. I know how you can help.
AZ-NORML is asking you to step up and join in the call for passing HB2149. Contact YOUR legislators. Don’t know who is your legislator? Click here. Call, email, send handwritten letters. Tell them this:
“I want you to support Rep Tony Rivero’s HB2149, the “marijuana, cannabis definition bill. Concentrated products need to be protected for the patients. Please vote yes.”
Here is the contact info for the members of the House Public Safety Committee. Contact them also:
Kevin Payne (Chrmn) email@example.com (602) 926-4854
Anthony T. Kern (V-Chrmn) firstname.lastname@example.org (602) 926-3102
Richard C. Andrade email@example.com (602) 926-3130
Noel W. Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org (602) 926-3124
Daniel Hernandez, Jr. Dhernandez@azleg.gov (602) 926-4840
John Kavanagh Jkavanagh@azleg.gov (602) 926-5170
Jennifer Longdon email@example.com (602) 926-3102
The letter below is just one example of the sad cases we have had to deal with in Arizona since the Jones Ruling.
From: Mikel Weisser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 3:47 PM
Subject: Seeking Support for Parent of Pediatric MMJ Patient
To: Rosanna Gabaldon <email@example.com>, Pamela Powers Hannley <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Kelli Butler <email@example.com>, Kirsten Engel <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Mitzi Epstein <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Athena Salman <email@example.com>, Diego Espinoza <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Parisa mansouri-rad <Parisa.email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Juan Mendez <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, Victoria Steele <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Parisa mansouri-rad <Parisa.email@example.com>
Last weekend I received a call from one of AZ’s leading activists, Parisa Rad, one of the leaders in the women cannabis entrepreneur empowerment group,Women Grow (the Phoenix Market of national Women Grow). Parisa was one of the volunteers at our annual AZ-NORML lobby day this past Thursday.
Parisa is also a parent of two children, one with profound developmental disabilities, and in palliative care now due to prescription opioids. Her child has received legal MMJ therapies for 4 years in keeping w AMMA laws. The child is currently in palliative care and requires in-home Nursing healthcare. That care was being provided by Thrive Pediatrics. Up until Friday.
Parisa said that Friday, after 6 months of care, the agency sent a nurse who was unfamiliar with MMJ therapies for pediatric patients. When the nurse realized the child was receiving concentrates cannabis products, the nurse panicked and contacted the agency. By the end of the day, Thrive had contacted Ms Rad and told her they’ve terminated her services until further notice. When she asked what she could do, they told her it was a matter of company policy and the concentrates ruling made them feel they had no other choice than to cut Parisa and her child off from services.
To me this is an outrage. As head of Women Grow, Parisa organizes 100s of activists monthly and entrepreneurs in the PHX metro area. She is a highly credible public figure and denying her child healthcare not only endangers her daughter, it also threatens Parisa’s work for the larger reform community.
I am writing to you all, the legislators who have shown compassion for the MMJ patients of AZ and have demonstrated a keen awareness of the concentrates crisis to help us draw awareness to this injustice. Though I get a dozen calls a week through the AZ-NORML hotline about cannabis injustice, few have touched my heart as deeply.
Ms Rad is now at home 24/7 providing for her child, but would love to talk with you or anyone you think could help with this situation. As always AZ-NORML is prepared to do everything in our power to address cannabis injustice and on hand to assist the AZ Legislature anything we can to help with this situation.
Here is the best way to contact Ms Rad:
MJ Momma Consulting LLC.
Women Grow | Market Leader Program Director
As always, AZ-NORML is here to help your offices w any cannabis-related issues. Thanks again for your time,
State Director, Arizona NORML
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413
State Director, Arizona NORML
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413