ARIZONA CHAPTER OF AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS OPPOSED TO PROPOSITION 203
PROPOSITION 203: Medical Marijuana Initiative has been before the voters in the past. This initiative would allow stores throughout the state to sell marijuana to people, including kids, if they had a note from a provider stating that they need marijuana to treat pain. Also, a medical marijuana user could not be arrested for driving while under the influence or fired for using marijuana in the work place. If a cardholder lives more than 25 miles from a marijuana dispensary they are authorized to “grow their own”. If passed, there will be approximately 125 marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. They can be owned and operated as a non-profit by anyone who applies with no criminal record.
States which have medical marijuana laws similar to Prop 203 have seen a dramatic increase in the number of teens who have needed treatment for chronic marijuana use as well as an increase in the number of automobile accidents where the driver was impaired due to marijuana use. Research has shown that not only is marijuana more available to teens in states which have marijuana dispensaries, teens perceive that marijuana is safe because it is legally available.
Indeed, the perception of risk for smoking marijuana once a month among teens 12 to 17 years is lowest in states with medical marijuana laws and the highest percentage of past month adolescent (12 to 17 years) marijuana users are in states with medical marijuana laws.
For these reasons, the Arizona Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors recommends a NO vote on Proposition 203.