#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 all that well, and dispensaries are printing cards for patients because the electronic cards don’t work well. Business shouldn’t have to create work arounds 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 diagnosis6 and HB2784 (MMJ research) are also good bills that help patients.

With #HB2872, #AZGOP Uses #ALEC Legislation to Attack Labor Unions (video)

Writers Union joins ASARCO picket

Arizona Republicans are on the attack in 2020. We have heard anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-voter, and anti-immigrant legislation so far, and now to round out the set– we have anti-union legislation. Today’s featured bad bill is HB2872 proposed by Majority Leader Warren Petersen. It is an anti-union model bill from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Unions are private organizations, and this bill puts unnecessary, burdensome regulation and reporting requirements on unions that are not required of any other businesses. In fact, when I read HB2872, I thought, “Gosh, I would love to have this level of cost-benefit analysis reporting from my private insurance company regarding their profits and losses, salaries, and how much they actually spend on my care, compared to how much I pay.” But they aren’t required to do that.

HB2872 is national, model legislation that is duplicative and unnecessary because the reporting is already required by the federal government, and it is published online– for everyone to see. So, why is this bill necessary?

Continue reading With #HB2872, #AZGOP Uses #ALEC Legislation to Attack Labor Unions (video)

#HB2388: Big Brother Meets Aunt Lydia (video)

With big data surveillance, church recruitment, government-funded, incomplete and biased medical information, and unregulated clinics providing “all wrap-around pregnancy, counseling and post-childbirth services”, HB2388 is Big Brother and Aunt Lydia’s love child.

Last week was draining– with multiple tax cuts in Ways and Means, fake pregnancy centers in Health and Human Services (HB2388), and passage of the Build Your Own Border Wall on the House floor on reconsideration. (Another Zombie Bill brought back from the dead).

I recorded the video (below) late in the day on Thursday after the end of a two-part, marathon health committee meeting with multiple ideological debates. I am proud to serve with Dr. Amish Shah, and Reps. Kelli Butler and Alma Hernandez. The four of us did a great job standing up for patient choice, reproductive rights, medically accurate and unbiased information, science, privacy and separation of church and state.

Continue reading #HB2388: Big Brother Meets Aunt Lydia (video)

Regulatory Affairs Committee: From Sprinklers to Noise Complaints (video)

Arizona Legislature

On Friday, you all got a two-fer. After the Regulatory Affairs Committee briefing, I decided to do a second video about two bills the Request to Speak regulars made want to comment on. Both of these bills are on the agenda for Regulatory Affairs today– February 3, 2020– if you want to comment.

HB2313 is a Grantham bill that preempts cities and towns from requiring business owners to install sprinkler systems and from finding them if they don’t install sprinkler systems. This is another one of those “what could go wrong?” bills that we hear in the deregulation committee. according to the restaurant Association, there are between 30 and 40 restaurants in Phoenix that seat more than 300 people and have a liquor license but don’t have sprinkler systems. I’d like a list so I can avoid those unsafe places.

Continue reading Regulatory Affairs Committee: From Sprinklers to Noise Complaints (video)