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Ariz. Accepting Petitions To

Expand Medical Marijuana

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Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble.
Those Wishing To Add New Eligible Conditions To The State's Medical Marijuana Program Must Submit Petitions To The ADHS by Jan. 31

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By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 28, 2013 — Anyone wishing to make a petition to the Arizona Department of Health Services to add a new qualifying condition to the list of conditions approved by the state for a medical marijuana patient card have until Jan. 31, according to the ADHS.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act requires the ADHS to regularly accept petitions to add new medical conditions. In January 2012, the ADHS accepted petitions from the public to add PTSD 1, PTSD 2, depression, migraines, and generalized anxiety disorder to the list of conditions that qualify patients to receive a Medical Marijuana Registration Card. Those petitions were rejected in July, after Will Humble, director of the ADHS said the University of Arizona College of Public Health ruled that there was no medical reasons to believe the conditions would be positively impacted by patients using marijuana.

Go to the ADHS petition page

"Because my guiding principle for making the decision was to use science and research to make the decision, we contracted with the U of A College of Public Health to do an evidence review of published scientific studies to help us to make a more informed decision," Humble wrote on his blog last week. "Our literature review found limited scientific evidence to document whether Cannabis is helpful or not for the petitioned conditions or that support permanently adding the petitioned conditions to the statutory list of qualifying debilitating conditions identified in the Act. In short, I didn’t approve the petitions last year because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions."

Since marijuana has not been proved efficacious to PTSD, depression, migraines and generalized anxiety disorder in the past year, it is unlikely those would be approved this year. The University of Arizona College of Public Health will once agains be called upon to review the scientific literature for any that pass the initial screening.

Go to the ADHS petition page

If petitions pass the initial screening, they will go through the medical review then be open to a public hearing before Humble makes a final decision by late June. The AMMA states a decision must be made within 180 days after the petition is accepted.

“Assuming we receive qualified petitions, I’ll need to make a final decision by July 2013. Our website shows folks how, what, where, and when to submit petitions,” Humble wrote on his blog.

According to the ADHS, they will accept requests to add a debilitating medical condition to the list of debilitating medical conditions for the Medical Marijuana Program until Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. Requests received as indicated by its postmark prior to or after these dates will not be accepted.

The ADHS is also expected to receive requests in July 2013.

Go to the ADHS petition page
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