Tucson Dispensary Worried About AG Sessions Marijuana Decision
For many people on a typical Sunday evening in Tucson, Arizona, it’s a time to get ready for the upcoming week, including shopping for groceries.
In Seth Myles’ case, he’s shopping for medication. He’s not buying typical market items like Chemdog Special or Cookies Kush. Medical marijuana helps him deal with the pain he continues to experience from a neck injury in 2003. According to Myles, it helps him better deal with the pain. However, he has a perfectly legitimate reason to purchase it along with a recommendation letter from his doctor. Without a legitimate reason or a letter from a doctor, no one is allowed to walk into a dispensary to purchase medical marijuana.
He was tired of using opiates. He knew he couldn’t use them forever and wanted an alternative. Opioids are also quite addictive, unlike medical marijuana. He doesn’t feel any sickness when he uses medical marijuana, and it helps him cognitively and dis-associatively take his mind off the pain.
A majority of Arizonans have this same feeling. Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Proposition 203, narrowly passed in 2010. According to this legislation, patients must register with the Arizona Department of Health Services and get a recommendation letter from a doctor. At the time the law was written, it allowed for no more than 124 marijuana dispensaries in the entire state.
In 2013, Barack Obama’s administration advised federal prosecutors to focus more on hardened criminal initiatives instead of businesses that comply with the state’s regulations. This was a win for all medical dispensary operators.
An author of an opinion article in the Washington Post believes that prosecutors could still tackle a state’s drug trade problems but if a state has legalized marijuana and put in a regulatory system, they should be able to leave people alone who operate legally within that system.
This allowed Moe Asnani to operate his Downtown Dispensary in Tucson. He told Tucson News Now that he was glad he could operate his business without interference from federal prosecutors.
The policy has since been rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In a memo released back in August, he said that federal prosecutors should be allowed to decide whether resources should be devoted to marijuana-related cases based on demands in their districts.
In the memo, which was shared with the Associated Press, he says that prosecutors should follow well-established ideologies that govern all federal prosecutions by considering the seriousness of every crime and its overall impact on the community.
Asnani is concerned that Sessions’ intentions go against what Arizonans want, even though residents voted against full recreational use in 2016. He’s also worried that there may be a potential problem regarding prices.
What Asnani is concerned about more than anything is pricing, because the healthcare system is already being pushed to the hilt. If it’s included in the pharmaceutical industry, it will be sold in the same manner that other medications are. Prices could be around $1,000 a dose, a price similar to other more expensive medications. This isn’t a price most average people will be able to afford, which could price a lot of patients out of the market entirely.
Myles only spends $150 for his medical marijuana. He wanted to stock up. He’s not concerned about any stigma that comes with it.
Marijuana is available recreationally in eight states and in Washington, D.C.
Myles works hard and uses his medical marijuana responsibility. He comes into his local dispensary once a month because this is the only place he can get it. He doesn’t feel like a criminal and he doesn’t spend large sums of money on medical marijuana. He also sleeps well every night.