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Help Arizona Patients Protect Their Medical Marijuana Program


john kavanagh repeal medical marijuana arizonaAfter cannabis prohibitionists are defeated at the ballot box, sometimes you may have to defeat them again.  And again.  In Arizona, the rights of patients are under attack as Republican Representative John Kavanagh is proposing the repeal of the Arizona medical marijuana program established after a hard-fought campaign in 2010.  As usual, the prohibitionists don’t have the facts and science on their side and, in turn, promote a policy that actually puts people’s lives in danger.  The Republican state legislator is concerned that so many qualified patients have chronic pain, a diagnosis that may be hard to disprove, according to the politician.

While chronic pain may be hard to disprove to Rep. Kavanagh, state-licensed doctors have put their medical licenses on the line based upon documentation provided to these patients.  Chronic pain plagues 47% of American adults, it should not be surprising that a large number of pain patients are qualifying for state medical cannabis programs.  A similar fear-mongering tactic has been employed by anti-medical marijuana propagandists in Oregon, and likely other states, as well.

Cannabis has been proven to reduce chronic pain and may decrease a patient’s need for more addictive and dangerous narcotics like OxycontinVicodin and Percocet.  Medical cannabis can actually save lives that would otherwise be lost due to prescription drug use.   Thus, even if Rep. Kavanagh’s suspicion’s are correct and a large number of patients are fakers, then the worse case scenario is that patients with medical documentation with chronic pain are paying a licensing fee to the state to legally utilize a nontoxic medicine that has never directly caused a death and may very well prevent these same people from utilizing drugs that can actually kill them.

Some courageous patients spoke about their medical marijuana usage in response to Rep. Kavanagh’s threats against the program to KTAR in Arizona:

Greg Plunkett, who served in the Navy, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and seizures. He couldn’t disagree more with Kavanagh.

“I get this because I need the help,” he said. “I’m standing here today because of medical marijuana.”

Rebecca Perry, who has multiple sclerosis, said medical marijuana helps her and the dispensaries keep her from being forced to look for marijuana illegally.

It is a shame to see politicians fear monger and support policies that will detrimentally impact  their constituents, particular the most vulnerable among us.  Let’s help Arizona’s patients.  Call, fax and email Rep. John Kavanagh and let him know that he should not be depriving sick and disabled patients a safe medicine that improves their lives, especially when there is absolutely no evidence presented that the Arizona medical marijuana program is causing any harm.

Republished with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. I found this site on Google. It was excellent and very informative. As a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.

  2. Going back to Cali.Arizona is a Racist state . Along with the legalization of Medical marijuana,should also be Decriminalize . Come on AZ a Felony for having possession of less than gram should not have too ruin your Record!!

  3. greenhairedgirl on

    Please, let’s also remember how much Big Pharma has invested in politician’s campaigns, and just how much is Big Pharma losing in profits to Medical Cannabis? That is the real reason for all of this Prohibition fear-mongering.

  4. Everyone reading this should send the rep an email and let him know this is an ignorant approach to medical marijuana. He may not understand the science but these parasites feed on votes and if he realizes he is losing those he will change his direction quickly.

  5. Kavanaugh is one of those guys that does anything he can to get press. He runs his neandrathal mouth on anything he can to get press. He’s done after this. Republican, Democrat or Independent, if your against the will of the people we’re going to make you a non issue quick.

  6. This guy Kavanagh has always been a blowhard, always out to stir a “pot” (absolute pun intended). Since the very close election results 2 years ago, recent polls show Arizonans approval ranking of medical marijuana is up to over 60% (compared to the previous 52%). He is really just blowing hot air, again, and making an ass out of himself.
    Prop 203 needs may elements amended, and there is legal action already underway by at least 2 actions I am aware of. The ridiculous, self serving monopoly creating 25 Mile Rule, creatively and deviously injected by the dispensary owners attorneys wro help write Prop 203, need to be abolished. It is against State Constitution and we have found at least one A.R.S. statue that it infringes upon.
    If left to fester, patients will be slaves to their designated dispensary, who will in return be charging record high amount for the medicine (already being seen, quality is awful and $25 to $30 a gram). I will revoke all patients right to cultivate their own medicine and force them to go see the dictatorship dispensary.

  7. is kavanagh an accredited doctor?
    while he’s entitled to a personal opinion, it sounds like he is practicing medicine by ‘pre-scribing’ what pain relief patients can have, maybe he believes suffering people should just pray for a miracle, cuz not only does he moonlight as a self-trained
    pharmaceutical expert, this guy’s unquestionably one helluva damned preacher

  8. alfred e newman on

    this guy tried it 2 times, got laughed out of court the last time, so now hes being malicious. I say make him take some kind of insanity test or drug test! the programs doing ok without his input


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