Home / Election 2014 / Arizona medical marijuana signups projected at 66K

Arizona medical marijuana signups projected at 66K

Legislative budget analysts project that 66,000 Arizonans would register under a proposed medical marijuana program that is the subject of a November ballot question.

The Legislature’s budget staff is required to estimate fiscal impacts of initiative measures being put to voters, and the medical marijuana proposal is on the November ballot as Proposition 203.

In calculating costs that would be covered by fees, civil penalties and donations, the budget staff based its registration estimates on Colorado’s existing program.

The analysts project that 39,600 patients would register and that an additional 26,400 designated caregivers would take the total licensed population to 66,000 by full implementation in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. Tired of Govt telling us what to do

    Will Humble, director of Arizona Department of health Services sent this to all of their staff on 7/14/2010. Is this political activity?

    Medical Marijuana (Proposition 203)

    As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, an Initiative called the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act will be on the Ballot this November. We organized several teams (rules, IT, behavioral health, administrative council etc.) to examine the Initiative for the last few weeks and we have some reservations. You can read a news article this week that highlight some of my concerns. Here’s some background:

    The active ingredient in marijuana that’s cited for it’s medicinal value is called Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). A synthetic version of THC is available by prescription (called Marinol®). Marinol® is approved by the FDA for the treatment of anorexia in AIDS patients and for nausea and vomiting in folks undergoing chemo. It’s a Schedule III medicine, which means that doctors can prescribe it off label (e.g. for things other than nausea, vomiting, and chemotherapy) and it can be refilled. It’s generally considered to be non-narcotic and to have a low risk of dependence.

    But… the Initiative would allow people to apply for and get marijuana registration cards (from us) that allows them to buy & use marijuana itself for therapeutic purposes. The basic problem is that the FDA doesn’t recognize the smoking of marijuana as a treatment for any medical condition.

    The medical conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana registration card in the Initiative include “a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces severe or chronic pain.” Smoking marijuana isn’t part of any conventional, licensed or approved medical management of pain, it hasn’t been tested by the FDA for its safety or effectiveness for pain management. However, there are numerous FDA-approved medications are available that are clinically proven to be safe and effective for pain relief and management… and new strategies like acupuncture are showing more promise all the time. And remember, if a doctor thought that THC might be helpful for a patient’s pain management, they could always prescribe Marinol®.

    Many states have implemented medical marijuana laws and found that most applicants cite “severe or chronic pain” as part of their qualifying medical condition. Severe or chronic pain was a factor for more than 88% of all medical marijuana cardholders in Montana. In Colorado, 91% of applicants qualified because of chronic pain (the majority of them were under 45 years old)- and only 3% of the cardholders qualified because of HIV or the symptoms from chemotherapy (2 areas where there is some evidence that marijuana can be helpful).

    The bottom line is that the Initiative would allow people to apply for and receive registration cards so they can purchase and use marijuana even though the FDA doesn’t recognize smoking marijuana as a treatment for any medical condition. The majority of cardholders in Arizona will likely qualify because of severe or chronic pain, which has dozens of approved safe and effective treatment alternatives. It also leaves the door open for recreational users to claim they have pain issues in order to get a card to avoid getting in trouble in case they get caught with marijuana (for their recreational use). And remember, doctors can always prescribe Marinol® for their patients when they think THC may be helpful to their patient.

    Dr. Nelson and I co-wrote an argument along these that will be in the upcoming voter guide. Our letter represents our opinions- and every voter should examine the proposal for themselves and make their own decision about how to vote.

    Thanks… and try to stay cool.


    Will Humble


    Arizona Department of Health Services


  2. This tool looks as though it will be perfect. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  3. I am new to the boards and just wanted to say i am very very happy to read this blog.

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