The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to rule today on the legality of marijuana extracts, concentrates, vapes, edibles made with extracts and other offerings. Parties in the case received word from the court on Friday to expect the ruling in State of Arizona v. Rodney Christopher Jones at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
“If the ruling is adverse, we expect the worst in terms of what we will be able to sell after that date,” says an email alert from the Downtown Dispensary. Some of the most popular and medically effective products will be taken from dispensary shelves and relegated to felony status.
Vape-pen cartridges, concentrates like shatter and wax, infused food and drinks, patches, tinctures, and topicals will be among the products banned.
A total of 197,000+ medical marijuana patients in Arizonan will be directly affected by the ruling.
A bill in the legislature to solve this issue (HB 2149) was stalled & killed in the House Rules Committee by Rep. Anthony Kern (R-Glendale).
There are many medical marijuana patients who need to use cannabis because they are unable to smoke leafy marijuana. For example, young children who suffer from otherwise intractable seizure disorders, like epilepsy and Dravet Syndrome, find relief through medical cannabis that can be administered through oils or in food. Without amending the definition of “cannabis” in Arizona’s criminal code, these young children and their parents could face arrest and prosecution for using the medicine in this form.
Amending the definition of cannabis will also provide much-needed clarity to medical marijuana patients. The state Attorney General and the Department of Health Services both agree that medical marijuana patients should have access to the medicine they need. Statutes should be expanded in favor of the voter-approved initiative and law-abiding medical marijuana patients who should not be placed in a situation where they face arrest every time they walk out of a state-licensed dispensary.
Reefer madness prosecutor
The Jones case began on March 1, 2013, when police in Yavapai County responding to a noise complaint encountered Jones, searched him, and found 1.4 grams of hashish in a jar in his backpack. Jones presented his valid medical marijuana card, but cops arrested him anyway, and “Reefer Madness” prosecutor Sheila Polk charged him with possession of narcotics.
Already on probation for a 2012 conviction for “attempted involving a minor in a drug offense (marijuana),” Jones was sentenced in 2014 to 2.5 years for possession of the hashish, possession of paraphernalia, and a violation of probation in the 2012 case