Arizona: Thousands ready to apply for medical pot card
By KVOA, Staff
TUCSON - After years of debating you'll soon be able to apply for a medical marijuana card.
In a close race back in November voters approved the sale and use of medical marijuana. Prop 203 was signed into a law by the Governor in December. Under the new law, qualifying patients will be allowed to buy two and a half ounces of marijuana every week, but it does require a doctor's recommendation.
The state had 120 days to get the program up and running and Thursday is the end of that period and when it will all come together as thousands ready to apply. Some are looking to just purchase the pot legally with a prescription, while others are looking to grow it.
To apply for medical marijuana there is no doubt there will be a lot of interest and attention. The state said it's expecting numbers into the thousands and because of that, it decided the best way to do the application process was online.
Will Humble is the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. He said, "This is becoming an increasingly electronic society. It is a huge savor in terms of administrative costs. The voters have spoken. They expect efficient government and the bottom line is efficient government means using the most effective means."
For those who say they need the pot to live their everyday lives, they can't wait.
Edward Lewenetz was involved in car accident that caused severe spine damage. He said, "For everyone that needs the medicine and has fought hard for it, it is a big day."
It is not just the users getting ready to celebrate. Even some caregivers are looking forward to it because they say to some of the ones they take care of it is more than just a big day.
Stephanie Arsua is a caregiver who works with Lewenetz. She said, "For a lot of people it is going to be the beginning of a complete life transformation."
And to make that transformation come sooner rather than later Lewenetz has already built his growing operation early, complete with solar panels and led lights.
He said, "Everything has already been done. The preparation is here. We're just waiting for the time to begin and that magic hour."
The state said it has been testing the computer program, but admitted it will be pretty much be launching the program cold on Thursday. Humble there is a chance they run into problems but he's confident it will work.
If you are going to apply, you'll need to go to the Arizona Department of Health Services website and have a few things ready to attach in electronic form: your doctor's certification letter, copy of your current driver's license, and a document saying you won't give the pot to anyone not authorized to have it. The cost is $150.
For more information, and to apply for your own card, you can go the ADHS website at http://azdhs.gov/index.htm