#HB2840: Medical Marijuana Patient Choice Bill on Feb 20 HHS Agenda (video)


There are four medical marijuana bills (not all good) on the House Health and Human Services Committee agenda for tomorrow, Thursday, February 20.

One of them is my bill, HB 2840. This and my other 2020 medical marijuana bill HB2838 are patient choice legislation. If you have been following my healthcare bills this year, you know that I have proposed several patient choice bills. I believe in patient choice across the healthcare spectrum from reproductive choice to death with dignity and everything in between. 

Beginning in December 2019, the Arizona Department of Health Services switched all medical marijuana patients from a plastic identification card to an electronic ID. In my opinion, the patients were not adequately notified, and furthermore, they were not given a choice regarding plastic or electronic. Thousands of medical marijuana patients are over 80 years old. Thousands are over 60. Thousands more live in rural areas with limited Internet access.

HB2840 simply says that patients should be able to choose between a physical medical marijuana card and an electronic card.

I have heard stories about older medical marijuana card patients being forced to create email accounts just to get access to their medicine. I have also heard stories from dispensaries that the electronic cards don’t work for many patients, and dispensaries are printing cards for patients because the electronic cards don’t work well. Business shouldn’t have to create workarounds for government. Government should facilitate access to medical care.

Also, what about the data privacy issues related to having a medical marijuana card on one’s smart phone? Who is collecting, storing and selling patient data?

Lastly, do we really want to put an added barrier between cancer patients and medical marijuana? I worked for the Arizona Cancer Center for many years and knew many cancer patients who would have benefited from pain and nausea relief from medical marijuana. The last thing we want to do was put any unnecessary bureaucratic burden between cancer patients and a plant that helps them feel better.

If you are on RTS, please say yes to my bill HB 2840. You can also vote yes for HB 2838 through “my bill positions”. This would allow physicians assistants and nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana. They can already recommend opioids. It would be good if they could recommend a plant that never killed anyone. HB2049 (autism as an approved MMJ diagnosis) and HB2784 (MMJ research) are also good bills that help patients. HCR2045 is a bad nanny state bill designed to trick voters on the 2020 ballot.

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