Marijuana

Medical-Marijuana Destruction Bill Likely Dead, Says Lobbying Firm; Amendments Possible on Pot-Packaging Bill

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That voter-approved law requires that any law enacted by citizens' initiative, (like Prop. 203), cannot be altered by the State Legislature unless it furthers the intent of the law. Even then, a change requires a two-thirds majority vote.

The seizure bill hasn't been scheduled for any more committee hearings, Rose adds.

Yee's worried the same thing could happen to the packaging and advertising bill, Rose says.

"Late yesterday, Senator Yee called our lobbyist and said, 'I think this bill could die -- let's get together and talk amendments,'" he says.

If the talks don't pan out, the Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association will "have no choice but to oppose the bill and try to kill it," Rose says.

The bill requires the state Department of Health Services, which oversees the medical-marijuana program, to "immediately revoke" a dispensary's license to operate if it packages or advertises its products in a way that "misbrands" or states that its use is for something "other than allowable medicinal purposes."

Amendments already adopted for the bill include: Requiring labeling of medical marijuana to use only black text on a white background; and requiring any medical-marijuana package to be white and opaque.

"The whole thing is about protecting children," attorney Kim McEachern of the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council told us yesterday. The council, a state government agency made up of prosecutors like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and State Attorney General Tom Horne, is supporting the bill.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.