Arizona Cardinals Get Political -- Not on Immigration, on Medical Weed

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Like the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Cardinals have decided to get political.

Don't expect to see any Los Cardinals jerseys, or anything immigration related -- the Cards sat out the whole SB 1070 debate (it was the off-season). The Cardinals are throwing their political weight (and cash) behind an initiative to prevent chronically-ill or severe-pain patients from buying marijuana from state-licensed clinics with a doctor's approval (the horror!).

The Cardinals donated $10,000 to the anti-medical-marijuana group Keep AZ Drug Free today, joining the likes of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and candidate for Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery in the war against prescription pot.

The group is against Proposition 203, which would legalize marijuana for medical use in Arizona. It should be noted that Cardinals President Michael Bidwill is on the group's steering committee.

Bidwell, apparently, is no fan of allowing people suffering from pain to use marijuana. We're curious what safe remedies the Cardinals' team doctor prescribes players when they blow out a knee. We have a feeling it's a little stronger than, say, a few aspirin, and probably a little more addictive than a bong hit.

We're not sure why Bidwell and Keep AZ Drug Free think Prop 203 is so horrible. They didn't return our call this afternoon, and aside from a blog that basically just links to articles written in the media, nothing on their Web site provides information about why they think the proposition is so awful. It basically only says -- in a South-Park-sort-of-way -- "weed is bad...mmm 'Kay?"

The only claim the group makes on its Web site is that Prop 203 "is a danger to our communities," while simultaneously providing no reason why.

Check out the Keep AZ Drug Free Web site here.

The use of medical marijuana has been approved by Arizona voters twice in the last 15 years, but in each case, the wording of the measure prevented it from becoming law.

We spoke to Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project (the pro-medical-marijuana group that got the measure on the ballot) earlier this year. Campaign manager Andrew Myers said there shouldn't be a problem getting the law enacted this time around.

"We have the benefit of experience now," he says.

Some of the problems that Myers says are now ironed out are the issue of how to tax the marijuana, certain regulations that dictate where the weed can be smoked, and the number of marijuana dispensaries -- which, he says, are several of the problems facing California's medical-marijuana program.

"Right now, in Los Angeles, there are more marijuana dispensaries than there are Starbucks," Myers says.

Under the guidelines of the new initiative, the number of dispensaries would be limited to about 120 statewide, and smokers would only be allowed to smoke in a private place, not at the dispensaries.

"[Medical marijuana] is overwhelmingly supported in Arizona," Myers says. "In the past, voters have supported it, and polls show that about 65 percent of voters would support it this time."

For more information on the initiative and on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, click here.

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