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Arizona Rep. John Kavanagh Wants More Teens To Use Marijuana


arizona marijuanaBy 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
(R-Fountain Hills)

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


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  1. when william r. hearst decided he wanted to market his timber without any other competitor, i.e. marijuana. i’m sure donations to FDR’s campaign helped also.peace

  2. not.patrick.kennedy on

    Correction: 1 acre of commercial hemp (no narcotic value) will produce 30 gallons of bio fuel,

  3. John… You IGNORANT MISGUIDED SLUT! Do you understand what all ailments COVER chronic-pain? You’ve got people afflicted with injuries sustained in a Work Injury, car accident, Shingles or just GENERAL accident. You’ve got Back patients, Neck patients, etc… who are ALREADY TAKING HEAVY Schedule II Narcotics LEGALLY prescribed to them by their Dr.! Drugs that make people INCOHERENT, Slobbering on themselves, unable to stay AWAKE in order to squelch their pan. These are drugs that KILL people, RUIN people’s lives, breakup Families and COST people Friends and many times drives them to SUICIDE. Yet when it comes to classification of what the ailments are… There’s a a PLETHORA of ailments that are thrown into the “Chronic-pain” category. By WILL HUMBLE’s design, that’s the category he PRODUCED that would cover such injuries. A LEGITIMATE category, but a CATCH-ALL category to make it EASIER to categorize an affliction. Your 90% figure of people FAKING injuries for an MMJ card is RIDICULOUS and EXTREMELY uninformed and DEFINITELY UNFOUNDED, at best! You say these “…Chronic-pain claims are a hard to verify affliction.” Yes they are… However NOT IMPOSSIBLE, and with the REQUIRED detailed Medical records to PROVE your affliction, it CAN and IS done on a daily basis!

    Why don’t you tell the truth about that study and show that OVERALL, Teen Use DECLINED since inception of our MMJ program. The students who SAID they got it from a Cardholder, doesn’t state if they STOLE IT, like WE did with our parents “Alcohol Cabinet” or if they ASKED the Cardholder nicely. MY bet is that they TOOK it, unbeknownst to the patient. Moreso, we’re talking about a VERY few kids using marijuana, they got from Cardholders in the FIRST PLACE. Yet we don’t even KNOW if they’re telling the TRUTH to begin with!

    Below are the FACTS of this study!

    “…Consulting the report referenced in pieces such as “Teens score pot from medical marijuana cardholders,”
    “Arizona students say they got pot from card holders,” and “Study: 1 in 9 students say they got pot from cardholders,” we see that only 1-in-9 teenagers — of the 1-in-7 who smoked marijuana in the last month– have gotten weed from medical marijuana card-holders. In other
    words, less than 2 percent of teenagers got their weed from a

    Why DIDN’T you mention that in that SAME study, the children who CLAIMED they were threatened with a Gun, Knife or bodily harm in that SAME past 30 days. THOSE numbers show a PROBLEM that needs your attention, but you can’t see that due to your DISDAIN of everything Marijuana. John, you’re GOING TO LOSE, and as an ACTIVE Party REPUBLICAN, I WILL WORK AGAINST YOU in YOUR next election. We can NO LONGER have people who are so SHORT-SIGHTED, and blindly follow Law Enforcement in their efforts to become a formidable MILITARY style force. We can NO LONGER accept people in Public Service who are TOO FUCKING STUPID to READ the Science of marijuana’s efficacy as a medicine. We’ve given up our FREEDOMS in the chase for the Security from Drugs. In which turns out is more harmful to Society than the Drug itself! When we’ve got 80% of the people in Prison, in there INITIALLY for a “Simple Possession” charge. YOU and your POLICIES are THE PROBLEM!

    You’re snuffing out PROMISING YOUNG lives due to their having a WEED in their pocket. Do you SEE how STUPID that makes you sound. I’ll tell ya what John… You go ahead and get it back on the ballot, and we’ll ONE UP you by an Initiative to “Regulate & Tax Marijuana like Alcohol” that’ll be on the SAME ballot, and we’ll see who WINS! History (3 TIMES) tells me you’re going to get your ASS handed to you.

  4. Every time you try to use the half truth of 90% of the patients suffering from chronic pain we’re going to be there to point out that you’re intentionally lying by abuse of the statistics. There are 11,565 Arizonians on the registry for conditions other than chronic pain. That’s 34.42% of the total number of Arizonians on the register. We’re also going to demonstrate that it’s not so easy to get a diagnosis of chronic pain from a doctor.

    Don’t think that your systematic production of bald faced lies, half truths and hysterical rhetoric are going to go unchallenged. You can only fool some of the people all of the time.


  5. Not a single line of any of the various States medicinal cannabis patient protection laws have been struck down in the 16+ year history of these laws.

    But tell me, why in the world is it only State and local authorities who challenge these laws on the grounds of Federal preemption? Why are those same arguments laughed out of Court by all but the first level of appeals? Not that those Appeals Courts find that there’s any reason to strike them down, just that they hear the petitioners arguments before laughing them out of Court.

    Given the history which has seen the voters of Arizona in favor of a medicinal cannabis patient protection law 3 times, has seen the voters reject a legislatively referred ballot initiative to make it illegal to even put the question on the ballot for a substance on the Federal schedule I naughty list , and the ballot initiative which stripped the Arizona legislature of the power to overturn laws created by ballot initiative by simple majority, and the number of desperately ill Arizonians that the advocates of medicinal cannabis patient protection will be able to trot out to show just what kind of lowlife you are for even suggesting that those people suffer even a little bit more than is necessary, what is it that makes you think you can win? Arizona may well end up like California, with a legislature that can’t touch a voter generated ballot initiative instead of the 75% super majority now required to do so. Have you even checked your State’s statistical breakdown of those patients on the registry? There are 4,525 Arizonians age 61 or older who are card holders, including 98 over the age of 81.

    I guess if you insist we’ll just have to watch the Arizona State government squander another pile of public resources in order to make the sick suffer more than needed.

    But regardless, I do stand corrected, only 3/4 of Arizona SB-1070 was
    struck down by the SCOTUS as blatantly unconstitutional. Mama Kavanagh can still be proud of her little man. I pray she never gets sick enough to give you a first hand view of the evil you represent.

  6. State Rep. John Kavanagh on

    The heart and soul of SB1070, the stop and question section, was found to be constitutional, as were several other sections.

  7. State Rep. John Kavanagh on

    I am also putting the law up for a voter review because what they got was not what they were told they would get. This is not a compassionate medical program being used by a wide array of people with different medical problems. About 90% have been diagnosed with chronic pain, a hard to verify affliction. Only 3.5% are the cancer patients who were disproportionately used to sell the program.

    Beyond that, would you explain how providing medical marijuana to those over 18 caused a decrease in usage by children? That makes no sense. If anything it made the reduction in use less than it would have otherwise been due to providing them with new sources. Correlation is not causation. Just because two events occur at the same time does not mean one caused the other.

  8. Not Buying it on

    Drug addicts. You want policies that better support drug addicts in their habits? You have no rational ground to stand on. How about preventing, reducing or eliminating teen drug use?

  9. old woman from texas on

    @Chrys, teenagers (i’m sure you are/were one once) will continue, as they ALWAYS have, to get things they shouldn’t. DUH, what else is new? the government could be making money (and taxes) instead of spending on something similar to alcohol prohibition, which we all know worked so well. and as @edward stated, it can and is being used for chronic pain and nausea; ask cancer patients and/or those with illnesses that are otherwise treated with man-made narcotics. i also agree with @f340e7e2a2628e393058157ec1ed0fe3:disqus it is a “natural growing plant that can and will produce more textiles, foods, building products, and cosmetics than any other plant on less than 1/3rd the space required by cotton – tobacco – sow – 1/20th the space needed to grow enough trees to build 1 house. 1 acre of commercial hemp (no narcotic value) will produce 300 gallons of bio fuel, 3 tons of fiber for clothing (more durable than cotton.” which not only creates JOBS, but will help with ecology.

  10. old woman from texas on

    @facebook-100001700224506:disqus said it best: “During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed.”

  11. old woman from texas on

    i never could understand why marijuana was a “controlled substance” ~ when did marijuana start being “made”?

  12. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was implemented in 1937 (when else?) and by the time that our most liberal President ever Franklin D. Roosevelt signed that law at least 46 out of 48 States had criminalized the recreational use of cannabis. The very first State to do so was Massachusetts in 1911. The Federal law ended the process of criminalizing the choice to enjoy cannabis. It didn’t start it by any stretch of the imagination.

    BTW the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was struck down by the SCOTUS in Timothy Leary v United States of America 395 U.S. 6 (1969). Yes it was that Dr. Timothy Leary who was the petitioner.

    It’s the Controlled Substances Act which has the Feds involved nowadays, and the precedent for that law’s Constitutionality is Wickard v Filburn 317 U.S. 111 (1942), yet another gift from the uber liberal FDR who had appointed 8 of the 9 Justices who voted unanimously in favor of Wickard’s huge expansion of Federal power. Wickard had not been heard when the 18th Amendment was ratified.

  13. Wow, John Kavanagh, co-writer and co-sponsor of Arizona SB-1070 which was unconstitutional on its face and struck down in the Federal Courts on the basis of Federal preemption without seeing the light of day is worried that Arizona’s medicinal cannabis patient protection law is in “conflict” with Federal law?? Isn’t that just precious?

    Where the heck is “the LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah)” crowd when authorities decide to break the law and violate their Oath? Up in the peanut gallery cheering that lawbreaking like the hypocritical partisan hacks that they are is where.

  14. I know third argument is frequently used (and abused) but most teenagers also get alcohol, tobacco and firearms from parents with licenses and access… It’s surprising he is only tackling the marijuana issue when the rest seem to have a more detrimental impact on teenagers. Great post though!

  15. Yep, prohibition has failed again! Is anybody really surprised?

    Just like at the end of the 1920s, our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted. What was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency.

    America it is time to wake up! Prohibition is a cultural and economic assault on your money, on your careers, on your ability to put food on the table, have shelter, cloth yourself, and even survive or self-medicate. The fiscal cliff isn’t the crisis. Prohibitionist control over America’s politics and government is.

    During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    Prohibitionists, and their criminal friends who live in a crack-house called Congress, are having a ball and it’s all on our tab.

  16. I am a licensed Medical Patient,(3 yrs). I took an option to clean my self up from Pharmisutical narcotic’s(pain med’s). I use it for chronic pain, nausea, and anxioty. I do not sell or share any with un-lic.medical patient’s. Reasonible solution’s for medical cannabis. edwardhporritt@hughes.net

  17. nygratefulfred on

    time to vote idiots like this John Kavanagh out of office-and let the door hit him in the ass on the way out!

  18. Years ago I realized i you are in a strange town and need an illegal drug you go to the local high school, or teen hangout in summer and you will find what you need. Teengers are used as distribution hubs by organized black marketeers. They face liter sentences and can recruit other gullable teens to their cause, they are easier to silence with threats of violence against their families. Their were no drug laws prior to the creation of the FDA, marijuana was legal until 1935. If congress needed to pass a constitutional amenment to prohibit alcohol, what in the Constitution authorizes prohibition of a plant?

  19. Alex that what you just said is about as mindless as our dear rep from AZ. Hopefully they — ppl like you and so many others might some day broaden your perspective past the end of your snobbish frontal protrusion. Not so much about legalizing the use of cannabis as it should be focusing on legalizing the growth of hemp. A natural growing plant that can and will produce more textiles, foods, building products, and cosmetics than any other plant on less than 1/3rd the space required by cotton – tobacco – sow – 1/20th the space needed to grow enough trees to build 1 house. 1 acre of commercial hemp (no narcotic value) will produce 300 gallons of bio fuel, 3 tons of fiber for clothing (more durable than cotton. And the list goes on

  20. Children should no more smoke marijuana, than they should drink alcohol, Legalize and regulate.

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