By PR Newswire
PHOENIX, AZ — The Giving Tree Wellness Center, a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary and alternative therapy center, opened in North Phoenix on May 6, just south of the Deer Valley airport. The Giving Tree is the only state-licensed dispensary located in North Phoenix and offers a full time in-house medical doctor and onsite alternative treatment center.
The Giving Tree Wellness Center is owned and operated by two local North Phoenix women with a passion for alternative medical therapies. One of the owners is an actively practicing Emergency Medicine physician, and acts as the medical director of the dispensary and is present at the dispensary during business hours to assist patients.
“Our goal is to take care of patients providing the highest quality medical marijuana and an inviting atmosphere while giving back to the community and making Arizona Proud”, says one of the owners.
The Giving tree was designed to have the ambiance and appearance of a stylish, high-end spa. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and are trained and encouraged to spend quality time with the patients to ensure excellent service. Assistance is readily available to help patients chose the right medical marijuana strains for their qualifying condition
The Giving Tree is authorized to cultivate by the state and will be offering their own cultivated medicine to ensure quality and consistency. All medicine is lab tested by a third party lab and the results are available to all patients. The frequently changing menu is available on thedispensary’s website.
The Giving Tree’s unique whole body approach will be offering a variety of alternative therapies which will include acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy and more. The Wellness Center will also host free support groups, seminars, and yoga and nutrition classes.
The Giving Tree Wellness Center is open Monday through Saturday from 12pm to 7pm and is located off the 101 at 21617 N 9th Avenue, Phoenix, 85027.
The Giving Tree will be opening a second location this summer at 938 E Juanita Avenue in Mesa.
PHOENIX, AZ — Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law Wednesday that allows Arizona colleges and universities to conduct medical marijuana research.
Senate Bill 1443, passed in April by both chambers in the state legislature, exempts approved medical research projects from a 2012 law that bans the use or possession of marijuana, including by medical marijuana card holders, on any college or university campus.
A physician from the University of Arizona, Sue Sisley, a specialist in internal medicine and psychiatry, sought the change to the law to continue research into the effectiveness of treating symptoms of post traumatic stress.
Sisley gained approval nearly two years ago from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a study to determine whether marijuana, in various dosages and methods of administration, can help combat veterans suffering from PTSD.
University of Arizona officials have prevented Dr. Sisley from conducting the research study under the existing ban.
Sisley said her proposal had already been approved by the UA’s Institutional Review Board, which must give the go-ahead for research on live subjects. Next, she said she needs approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to send her the cannabis for her study.
“Before the governor signed that ban about marijuana on campus, we were assuming that our study was going to be conducted on the university campus, which is the only real safe and appropriate forum for that,” Sisley said. “I need to be in a place where my patients and my staff can feel safe.”
If the University approves her study, Sisley will need to secure $250,000 in funding — mostly to pay DEA fees for marijuana research.
For the millions of people who now use marijuana legally under their states’ laws, driving in Arizona is technically a crime.
Motorists with pot metabolites in their bloodstreams who want to avoid a marijuana DUI — which comes with nasty fines and a one-year suspension of driving privileges, instead of the regular 90 days for booze DUIs — may want to consult our quick primer below.
As our cover story this week points out, state law prohibits driving with marijuana or “its metabolite in the person’s body.” In February, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the “zero-tolerance” rule in a case that’s now being appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Because the appellate court ruled that “its metabolite” could be plural as well as singular, even an inert metabolite of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, which can stay in the body for weeks after the last use of the drug, counts under the proscription.
Cops say they only bust motorists for a marijuana DUI if the person is exhibiting signs of impairment. But sometimes police are overly aggressive in their hunt for dangerous drivers, or just plain wrong about what they believe are signs of marijuana intoxication. In those cases, the suspected impaired driver will have his or her blood drawn. If the blood shows any sign of pot metabolites, the state can obtain a conviction.
We drive, and therefore do not want to encourage other motorists to drive while stoned, wasted, fried, zombified, or any other adjective that implies a high chance of hitting us, or you, gentle readers.
Motorists are not allowed to be “impaired to the slightest degree” in Arizona. However, as every cop who’s been to a happy hour knows, it’s not against the law to have a few drinks and get behind the wheel, even if you feel the effects of those drinks, as long as you’re not impaired.
The same logic may or may not be applicable to marijuana. Science isn’t yet able to predict how impaired a person might be based on how much marijuana was ingested. Another way to put that: Some people seem to be very impaired after consuming a little pot, while others don’t seem to be impaired at all after consuming a lot of pot.
Putting aside the difficult questions those facts raise when it comes to enforcing highway safety, Arizona’s zero-tolerance law means that someone who appears high to an officer, but hasn’t used pot in days, is at risk of a marijuana DUI. Here’s what we learned about preventing a conviction or getting stopped in the first place:
* Don’t use marijuana. Gotta say it. No metabolites, no conviction.
* Get educated: Know that marijuana metabolites can stay in your body for a month or longer. If you used marijuana legally under the recreational marijuana laws of Colorado or Washington, or under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, realize that it will be weeks before you can drive legally in Arizona.
* Don’t drive while using alcohol or other drugs. Studies show that driving can be impaired after just a few drinks. If you get pulled over because you’re driving stupidly with a .05 BAC, it’s possible that an officer may order a drug test that reveals marijuana metabolites, making your DUI case a lot less defensible despite the low alcohol reading.
* Worth repeating: Don’t drive on drugs. In the roughly 200 pot-DUI and accident reports we looked through for this week’s feature article, plus the many dozens of blood-test results of suspected impaired drivers in serious crashes in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler, only one injury crash — in Scottsdale — was believed by police to be due to a driver impaired only by cannabis. Most of the impaired-driver crashes involved booze. But it seemed like a significant number of drivers had half a pharmacy in their bloodstreams. Others had used illegal drugs. Some studies suggest that illicit drugs like cocaine or meth can impact driving more than marijuana.
The police reports revealed to us that driving with drugs that end in “-lam” is probably a terrible idea. In Phoenix last year, there was only one injury accident (and no fatals) in which a suspected, non-alcohol-using impaired driver tested positive only for a single drug, and it wasn’t pot: It was midazolam, a.k.a. Versed, a light anesthetic that causes sleepiness and acute memory loss.
* Don’t make driving errors that can lead to getting stopped. This one’s tough. Especially, and we’ll be blunt, if your skin isn’t lily white. Taking a wide right turn, forgetting to come to a complete stop while exiting a parking lot, or driving with no license-plate light or a cracked windshield might be all it takes to attract the attention of Officer Friendly, who doesn’t care about the cracked windshield but is looking for impaired drivers. In any case, failing to speed, weave, drive too slowly, or leave your headlights off at night will tip off nearby officers to the fact that you’re not impaired, leading them to pull over someone else.
* It’s possible to look high on pot when you’re not. The Phoenix area is one of the country’s allergy capitals, causing the eyes of many non-pot-using residents to turn red. Someone who’s hung over on legal booze might have red, watery eyes, too. Various brands of eye drops claim to cure bloodshot eyes, which might be advisable to unimpaired drivers with metabolites in their bloodstreams. If you use marijuana even infrequently, this is information you already knew.
* As ridiculous as it sounds, one of the signs of recent pot use that cops look for is a green-coated tongue. If you notice your tongue is green, it’s possible you may need a primer on oral hygiene, too.
* Don’t cruise around in a car that smells like you’re the chauffeur for theChoom Gang. If your passenger tokes, the fact that you haven’t smoked won’t save you if those metabolites are in your blood. After a cop takes a whiff of that stanky shite in the vehicle, an unimpaired driver could well be arrested, tested and convicted.
It doesn’t always go down that way, though, according to cops. For instance, a driver and vehicle may reek of weed, but the driver exhibits no sign of impairment. One officer related how he saw — and smelled — pot smoke coming from a parked car not far from where he himself was parked. The suspect then drove away and was pulled over. But the officer didn’t write a DUI ticket, he says, in part because the drug clearly hadn’t had time to impair the driver.
|Can using marijuana turn your tongue green? Cops claim it can, and the observation of a “green tongue” was made by officers in several of the pot-DUI police reports reviewed byNew Times.|
* If the officer truly believes you are too high to drive, or he’s just gonna hassle you because he hates stoners and you’re wearing a shirt that says, “It’s 4:19 — got a minute?”, then you can forget about going home anytime soon. You’re going to be arrested and will have your blood drawn.
Michael Munoz, a Valley criminal defense attorney, suggests exercising your right to remain silent and using your right to request to speak to a lawyer before agreeing to or refusing a blood test.
* During a roadside marijuana-DUI investigation, an officer might ask if the motorist has a medical-marijuana card even if no marijuana is visible. Answering “yes” will likely be counted as a strike against you, since the cop will then know you have metabolites in your bloodstream and that a blood draw would be fruitful. As our article explains, the card won’t protect you from being prosecuted because of a technicality in the law that exempts metabolites from prescribed drugs, but not from medical marijuana, which is recommended by doctors instead of prescribed.
When we asked one cop about this, he said that a motorist could “plead the Fifth” when asked about a card. That dovetails with Munoz’s advice to clam up.
True, state law prohibits police from using the database to determine if someone has a card — cops can only use the database to verify the validity of a card that someone presents to them. However, we would not recommend lying to the officer about the card or anything else. Not only is lying unethical, but it might result in a criminal charge of giving false info to a cop if you’re caught.
* Don’t admit to using marijuana “yesterday,” or at any time, because it doesn’t matter when you last toked under Arizona’s zero-tolerance law. Any admission is used to build a criminal case against you. Tell the officer you don’t want to answer any questions, Munoz advises.
* Should you take that field sobriety test or not? The officer who suspects impairment may ask a driver to stand on one leg for 30 seconds or perform other sobriety tests. If you’re sober, you should pass the test. Cops tell New Times that they will often send a driver who passes these tests on his or her way. But an experienced Phoenix DUI cop told us that 90 percent of sober drivers pass the tests — meaning that 10 percent don’t. However, if you’re going to be arrested anyway — a strong possibility if the car smells of weed and your eyes are bloodshot — any mistake on the field-sobriety tests will count against you in court. Munoz advises drivers to refuse those field tests.
Good luck out there.
By PR Newswire
ELOY, AZ — Arizona’s newest medical marijuana dispensary is now open in Eloy, located between Phoenix and Tucson.
Jamestown Center will serve the surrounding areas of Eloy, Casa Grande, Maricopa, Coolidge, Florence, Marana as well as the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
Jamestown Center will dispense lab tested medical cannabis to qualifying patients in Arizona.
Working closely with Jamestown Center’s medical director, a specific cannabis strain will be recommended based on each patient’s medical condition.
Patients will be monitored to ensure correct dosing, route of administration and desired affects are achieved. Side effects will also be monitored.
“Our mission is to treat our patients like our friends and family,” states Edward, President of Jamestown Center.
The ownership of Jamestown Center consists of 3 pharmacists and a biochemist.
By Ray Stern
The state-regulated medical-marijuana dispensary industry that Arizona voters approved in late 2010 is becoming a reality, with three new retail shops opening this week.
Two dispensaries were slated to open today: One in Glendale (the city that already supports the only medical-pot facility in the Phoenix metro area), and another in Eloy. By next Monday, stores in Fort Mohave and Bisbee should be open.
Those four shops add to the seven already open across the state, records show.
Meanwhile, 11 others are in various stages of final approval for operating certificates by the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the program.
This month, would-be dispensary operators in Tempe, Marana, Deer Valley and Sedona requested DHS inspections, meaning it’s possible that dispensaries could open in those locations within a few weeks. Delays are also possible for those operators, depending on whether they’ve met their inspection criteria.
Five dispensaries requested inspections in February, and two made their requests in January, yet still haven’t received their operating certificates for various reasons. We left a message for Will Humble, DHS director, and we’ll let you know what we hear from him.
Susan, a biochemist who works for Jamestown Center in Eloy, says the dispensary is mainly run by pharmacists. They don’t wish to give their full names at this time, she says, but their goal is to run the shop “like a retail pharmacy.”
The Greenhouse, located at 8160 West Union Hills Drive, is the new dispensary in Glendale.The grand opening in Eloy was pushed back to Wednesday, Susan says, at which time the dispensary will begin offering at least seven different strains of medical marijuana to qualified patients. Edible products will be available at some point.
As of March 12, there are 36,595 registered medical-marijuana patients in Arizona, but it seems like that number would be bound to grow once potential patients know there are plenty of state-regulated dispensaries in which to buy their medicine.
Despite being authorized by more than 841,000 Arizona voters in November of 2010, the dispensaries have been a long time in coming due to Governor Jan Brewer’s unilateral move to derail the process. In January of 2012, a judge ordered Brewer to stop thwarting the wishes of voters and let the dispensaries roll. In November, Arizona Organix of Glendale achieved history by becoming the first state-authorized medical-pot retail shop in Arizona.
Without the dispensaries, patients have legally grown their own — or joined one of the local cannabis clubs, which act as unauthorized dispensaries by charging high membership fees and giving away “free” medicine. The clubs’ business model has never been declared illegal, but we’ve written about several club owners and employees who have received probation following raids by police on their businesses.
A group of authorized dispensary operators told the State Legislature in January that they’d prefer to see those cannabis clubs shut down.
But that “problem” could be going away on its own:
In a few months, those cannabis clubs are going to have an awful lot of competition.
An anti-drug group financed by the Arizona Cardinals is backing a new ballot measure that would rescind Arizona’s new medical marijuana law and outlaw new dispensaries that have started opening.
Keep AZ Drug Free has endorsed a bill put forward in the Arizona Legislature asking voters to repeal the medical marijuana legalization measure they narrowly passed in 2010.
The Arizona Cardinals football team have been Keep AZ’s largest financial contributor, according to the group. The team donated $10,000 during the 2010 campaign.
Proposition 203 passed by 4,000 votes in 2010 and legalized medical marijuana dispensaries and distribution within the state. It has faced legal and bureaucratic hurdles from Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and others opposed to the marijuana’s law implementation.
The new bill, HCR 2003, asks voters to repeal Prop. 203 starting in 2014. It is sponsored by State Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills/Scottsdale, and enjoys the backing of the Keep AZ group.
“The marijuana lobby wanted us to believe the law was about compassion for sick people, but the data shows that the pot goes almost entirely to recreational use,” said Ed Gogek, a physician, addiction psychiatrist and Keep AZ board member.
Cardinals officials did not respond to requests for comment on the issue Tuesday morning.
Mike Sunnucks writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business and the economy.
By Romain Bonilla
Some men just want to watch the world burn. Arizona lawmaker John Kavanagh goes further than that: he wants to see more teenagers burn.
In 2010, Arizona voters approved Proposition 203, which established a medical marijuana program through which qualified patients could access cannabis-based medicines. Reforming marijuana policy in the state not only provided sick people with an effective remedy, but also led to a decrease in the rates of marijuana use among teenagers, according to a report by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission.
While teen marijuana use increased from 2008 to 2010, this trend was reversed when Arizona’s medical marijuana law came into effect. That year, 29.9 percent of high school students had tried marijuana at least once in their life; in 2012, that rate was reduced to 28.7 percent.
This seems to upset Rep. John Kavanagh, a former cop who wants Arizona to revert to its old marijuana policy. Eager to increase teen drug use and criminalize the sick, John Kavanagh has wasted no time putting his plan into action: on January 3, he filed a bill in the hope of repealing the state’s medical marijuana law.
Rep. John Kavanagh
Surprisingly, Kavanagh makes use of the for the children rhetoric to make his point, citing the fact that some of the legally produced marijuana finds itself in the hands of teenagers. Indeed, the study mentioned above notes that, of the students who admitted having tried marijuana, about 11% claim to have received it from a patient or caregiver. To quote Matthew Hendley, writing for the Phoenix New Times :
According to several Valley reporters, a new survey shows that some Arizona teenagers have obtained marijuana from people who can legally possess marijuana.
“No shit,” say the rest of us.
To solve this problem, John Kavanagh plans to leave marijuana users with no other choice than to purchase their marijuana from black market profiteers. When it comes to what Arizona teenagers smoke, Kavanagh largely prefers adulterated brick-weed from Mexico over medical-grade, quality-checked, locally produced marijuana. Assuming his goal is to risk young people’s safety and enrich the drug cartels, it’s a pretty decent plan.
Rep. John Kavanagh’s initiative not only promotes policies that have failed at protecting Arizona’s youth, but also illustrates his twisted desire to increase teenage marijuana use along with the risks associated with it.
The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission report, released in November 2012, is available here as a free .pdf file.
Guest Post Courtesy Of Romain Bonilla And The Original Article Can Be Seen Here
No one likes an I Told You So but every now and then it’s necessary to say, “I told you so.”
At the end of last month the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission released results of a study that said about 11 percent of Arizona kids in 8th, 10th and 12th grades who admitted to smoking marijuana said they got their ganja from a medical marijuana card holder.
The law that allows 36,000 people (so far) to legally smoke or grow dope in Arizona is the result of Proposition 203, which voters passed in 2010.
In October 2010, I argued that voters should reject the proposition because the law as it was written was a sham, simply a backdoor way for dope smokers to legally get high. The law didn’t require a prescription from a board-certified physician, just a “recommendation” and it allowed homeopaths and naturopaths to also make “recommendations,” even though they are merely government-sanctioned quacks.
But voters passed it and in December 2010, I argued that it was incumbent upon the state health department to strictly regulate the law’s application and keep the medical in the “medical” marijuana law, less Arizona become like California where hopheads galore can score weed at will simply because they have “pain.”
About the same time the commission released its study, the Arizona Republic reported that of the people who had received recommendations for medical weed, barely 10 percent were getting it to treat illnesses whose symptoms marijuana is suspected of helping alleviate, cancer and glaucoma patients in particular.
The remaining 90 percent needed marijuana to relieve their “pain.”
The horrible tragedy of those statistics is that it makes a mockery of people who legitimately suffer from chronic pain and for whom marijuana might provide some relief. All these slackers getting bogus “pain” referrals make it harder for true pain suffers to be taken seriously.
The other tragedy of this farcical law is that it harms the cause of drug law normalization.
Marijuana prohibition is an abysmal failure. We spend billions of dollars a year attempting to interdict marijuana use to no avail. It’s still widely available and easily obtained irrespective of medical marijuana laws.
We all pay for its prohibition. We pay billions in taxes for the investigation, prosecution and incarceration of drug users, and billions more dealing with ancillary crimes associated with its use because its growth, importation and distribution is controlled by criminal cartels and violent urban gangs.
It makes more sense to make marijuana legal and regulate its manufacture and use like we do alcohol. Then tax it.
A state legislator this week proposed a bill to put repeal of Prop. 203 before voters again in 2014. Here’s hoping it makes the ballot and that voters pass it.
From there, marijuana normalization could proceed on a more honorable footing.
It would be more honorable for drug normalization proponents to seek full prohibition repeal rather than use cancer and pain patients as a stalking horse for legal drug use.
Prop. 203 is a dishonorable law that does more harm to the interests of people with medical conditions who might be aided by marijuana than it helps them.
TUCSON, Ariz. -
We’re getting a look at the second medical marijuana dispensary to open up in Tucson.
The Green Halo Caregiver Collective opened on the city’s south side.
The building is highly secured and after patients use their state-issued identification to get inside, they can pick their medicine.
“We’re talking a whole range of things..pretty much candies, a Tootsie pop thing they can suck on, brownies, different baked goods..chocolate things that are very tasty, but also a great way to deliver the medicine,” said Green Halo manager Ken Sobel.
Green Halo has about 40 patients and employs 25 people.
Green Halo Caregiver Collective
3359 N. Freeway
BY: The Associated Press
A judge is refusing to temporarily block his recent ruling that Arizona’s medical marijuana law is constitutional and that federal drug laws don’t stand in the way of implementing it.
A Maricopa County Superior Court spokesman says Judge Michael Gordon on Thursday denied County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s request to suspend the ruling pending the outcome of an appeal to a higher court.
Montgomery says he’ll next ask the Court of Appeals to issue a stay.
The case initially focused on whether the county had to approve zoning for a Sun City dispensary.
The case grew to include whether federal drug laws pre-empt Arizona’s medical marijuana law.
Gordon ruled last week that they don’t and that the county must provide zoning clearances for the Sun City dispensary.