Marijuana v. Cannabis

August 30th, 2013 by Will Humble Leave a reply »

Are Marijuana and Cannabis the same thing when it comes to Arizona Law?  The short answer is no- and the distinction may be  an important one for Qualified Patients. 

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act provides registry identification card holders and dispensaries a number of legal protections for their medical use of Marijuana pursuant to the Act.  Interestingly, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act definition of “Marijuana” in A.R.S. § 36-2801(8) differs from the Arizona Criminal Code’s (“Criminal Code”) definition of “Marijuana” in A.R.S. § 13-3401(19). In addition, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act makes a distinction between “Marijuana” and “Usable Marijuana.” A.R.S. § 36-2801(8) and (15)

The definition of “Marijuana” in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is “… all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.”  The definition of “Usable Marijuana” is  “…  the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant and does not include the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.”  The “allowable amount of marijuana” for a qualifying patient and a designated caregiver includes “two-and-one half ounces of usable marijuana.”  A.R.S. § 36-2801(1)

The definition of “Marijuana” in the Criminal Code is “… all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, from which the resin has not been extracted, whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.”   “Cannabis” (a narcotic drug under the Criminal Code) is defined as: “… the following substances under whatever names they may be designated: (a) The resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or its resin.  Cannabis does not include oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any fiber, compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the mature stalks of such plant except the resin extracted from the stalks or any fiber, oil or cake or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination; and (b) Every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such resin or tetrahydrocannabinol.A.R.S. § 13-3401(4) and (20)(w)

An issue the Department has been wrestling with for some time is how the definition of “Marijuana” and “Usable Marijuana” in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act and the definition of “Cannabis” and “Marijuana” in the Criminal Code fit together.  This confusion, which appears to be shared by dispensaries and registered identification card holders alike, is not easy to clear up and has resulted in the Department receiving numerous questions regarding the interplay between the protections in A.R.S. § 36-2811 and the Criminal Code.  While we can’t provide legal advice as to whether a certain conduct is punishable under the Criminal Code (only an individual’s or entity’s legal counsel can do this), “Cannabis” is defined as the “resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis” and “Cannabis” is listed as a narcotic drug according to the Criminal Code in A.R.S. § 13-3401(4) and (20)(w).   

In other words, registered identification card holders and dispensaries may be exposed to criminal prosecution under the Criminal Code for possessing a narcotic drug if the card holder or dispensary possesses resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis or an edible containing resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis.  If you’re concerned that your conduct may expose you to criminal prosecution, you may wish to consult an attorney.  We’ll be providing some specific guidance for dispensaries licensed by the ADHS next week.

 

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70 comments

  1. Doug says:

    This is such a perversion of the will of Arizona voters. There are 40 minor patients in the program, and according to last weeks news, one of them is a 5 year old boy. Is it really your position that this child has to learn how to smoke to be able to use the program. Regardless of your departments opinion of marijuana as medicine, made clear prior to the 2010 election, it is the will of the citizens of Arizona. It is time that you, as director of ADHS became an advocate for patients, not a stumbling block. I don’t really expect a response from you, other than “I am not a lawyer”.

  2. Will Humble says:

    I’m trying to point out the difference between the forms of marijuana that are protected under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that the forms that are not.

    There’s a difference between the definition of marijuana in the State’s Crimanal Code and the definition of marijuana covered under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

    I’m just trying to alert patients and dispensary agents that if they possess resins or extracts that law enforcement and prosecutors may not view those products as protected under AMMA and they could be at risk for their liberty despite being a card carrying patient.

    Also, edibles are clearly protected under AMMA as long as they contain just Useable Marijuana- which is defined as: “… the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant and does not include the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.”

    “Cannabis” (a narcotic drug under the Criminal Code) is defined as: “… the following substances under whatever names they may be designated: (a) The resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or its resin….”

    If I were to ignore the difference between the AMMA and Title 13 definitions (and take a “laissez faire” approach to this) patients could suffer in the end by ending up in the criminal justice system for something they thought they were authorized to possess.

    • D.Cassidy says:

      Will Humble,

      Is the latter advice the Administrative Counsel gave to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Director and Executive Team?

      D.Cassidy

    • Michael says:

      The problem is the the criminal code was not updated when the amma was approved and instituted. If the legislature was educated about how this plant is effectively utilized by patients, they would see that edibles and oils when ingested work in different ways than when smoked or vaporized. I kind of liken to saying aspirin pills are fine, but if you crush it up and put it in some chocolate pudding so a child can take it, or so an elderly patient can take meds without risk of aspirating a pill, they risk the same criminal procedures as a meth or heroine user if law enforcement so chooses. If the citizens voted in a law, the legislature owes it to those that voted them in to correct the conflicting definitions.
      This sets up patients against law enforcement by default because if a patient uses a derivative of Mmj to treat, they are by nature of this form of ingestion criminals and not patients. The definition of cannabis and marijuana are not clear. Cannabis is the actual name of the plant, and there are different types : hemp, cannabis indica and cannabis saliva. All have many active compounds and some help different illnesses.

      It is understood that you as director needs to follow rules like everyone else, but it should be obvious that the state legislature is not listening to the people they represent on this matter. If the anyone in the state house wants to discuss with someone that doesn’t match what they might normally look at as an advocate, then pass this comment along and have someone call me. I am happy to share my opinions with anyone who is ignorant to the reality of this issue.

      Someone who needs help should not worry about what may happen if they purchase an edible from a dispensary licensed by the state that used dairy butter to extract the compounds in the plant so they can have longer pain relief than smoking the same flower part of the plant used to make that infused butter for cooking.

      I know there are people looking into this, but I could not make much sense of your post because of the contradictions in the statutes…and I am educated, run a business, and work in a regulated industry that requires more oversite than the amma. Imagine how a 67 year old looking for alternative treatments or a parent who has run out of mainstream options for their sick child that lacks these skill sets must feel. If you cannot give legal advice, send this to those responsible for setting up the rules so law enforcement and lawyers understand how ridiculous this system is.

    • Timothy D Little says:

      Mr Humble,

      We’re tired of the nit picking. Tax paying, land owning retired US Army Veteran.

    • D. Cassidy says:

      When you cook “usable marijuana” into butter you get Cannabis Butter… Most folks remove the extra plant matter once the Cannabiniods have been extracted into the oils of the Butter. So the simple act of removing extra plant matter from the preparation/mixture makes in illegal? While not removing the extra plant matter remains legal? Simply cooking “usable marijuana” into butter extracts the THC from the “usable marijuana” and creates Cannabis regardless of the extra plant matter being removed or not since THC bonds to oils and not plant matter.

    • Allen Corbett says:

      Then the law needs to Recognize that resins and extracts ARE COVERED under the act!!!!!

    • Jim Clifford says:

      I appreciate your messages, and feel they are an excellent means of providing factual info. I wish people would understand that you are called upon to interpret the act as it is written, and that you are not empowered to add or subtract from the wording as written. Reasonable regulation is required in order to keep the feds from trampling upon patient’s rights. Your work provides that protection to patients.

  3. Doug says:

    In the AMMA under definitions is the following:

    8. “Marijuana” means all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.

    They are the same thing. How can anyone read the definitions in the AMMA, and come to the conclusion that marijuana and cannabis are somehow different.

    I know you are “Not a Lawyer” but what you are implying in the ridiculous “marijuana vs. cannabis” blog is akin to saying that a Drivers License allows you to operate a car on the roads, but not an automobile.

    Please start ADVOCATING for patients.

    • Allen Corbett says:

      Thank you Doug! It DEFINITELY feels Will has NOT done his homework on Exactly what Cannabis is, or DOES! Seems to be a machine for the Bad guys, the Corrupt ones!!!

  4. Mike says:

    So a marijuana extract and a cannabis extract are different? Who get to decide which it is?

  5. HarloweThrombey says:

    Thank you for communicating with us.

  6. bill says:

    Mr Humble,
    Thank you for addressing this issue.

    It would seem at the very least, there is a fair amount of confusion right now regarding this topic.
    You were tasked with the responsibility of creating the rules, which you did. Within the rules and regulations, in regards to dispensaries in particular, infusion kitchens and the policies and procedures that were to be submitted by the dispensaries, you included stipulations for “medical marijuana infused edible products” and also, “non edible marijuana infused products”.
    Please explain why these were included and what the definition of “products” was to you at the point of creation.

    And since you are not an attorney I would like to ask your personal opinion, as the director of AZDHS,
    Do you believe the intent of the proposition was to allow for medical marijuana, in extracted forms, to be included within the definition.. “Any mixture or preparation thereof”??
    Again, I am asking for your personal opinion Sir.

    Thank you for taking the time to address this issue and send a warning to patients, caregivers as well as dispensary owners.
    We have been trying to warn patients for several weeks once it was brought to our attention, now maybe people will listen. There is a threat of prosecution, for EVERYONE regardless of card status, if you have any type of product with an extract in it.

    Bill

  7. Miles says:

    OK, I’m going to do some explaining here, because obviously people working for our state are having difficulty understanding some things.

    The states criminal code stays in effect – IF you’re not a patient, OR you violate the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

    If you ARE a medical marijuana patient, then the AMMA applies.

    The AMMA clearly states what usable marijuana is and that includes ‘ANY mixture or preparation thereof’.

    CHAPTER 28.1
    ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT
    36-2801. Definitions
    8. “MARIJUANA” MEANS ALL PARTS OF ANY PLANT OF THE GENUS CANNABIS WHETHER GROWING OR NOT, AND THE SEEDS OF SUCH PLANT.

    15. “USABLE MARIJUANA” MEANS THE DRIED FLOWERS OF THE MARIJUANA PLANT, AND ANY MIXTURE OR PREPARATION THEREOF, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE SEEDS, STALKS AND ROOTS OF THE PLANT AND DOES NOT INCLUDE THE WEIGHT OF ANY NON-MARIJUANA INGREDIENTS COMBINED WITH MARIJUANA AND PREPARED FOR CONSUMPTION AS FOOD OR DRINK.

    Every infused product sold in a dispensary right now is made by extracting resin. EVERY ONE.

    I’ll use a marijuana infused cookie as an example -

    To make one, you simply follow any cookie recipe with the exception of using cannabis infused butter. how do you make the butter? Simple. By melting that butter, adding ‘useable marijuana’ and letting it simmer at around 250 degrees. Doing this EXTRACTS THE RESIN and binds it to the fat in the butter. You then strain out the now useless, left over plant material, cool it and add it to any recipe.

    Even if you left the unusable plant matter in the recipe, which none of the dispensaries are doing, the resins have still been EXTRACTED.

    Now whether it’s butter, alcohol, glycerin, butane, co2, whatever – use your brain here and a little logic. The resins are EXTRACTED.

    There is no logical explanation out of this. The old criminal code defining cannabis as the resin does not apply to medical marijuana patients.

    It’s not complicated stuff. This is clearly covered under the AMMA.

  8. Philip says:

    OK, “trying to point out the difference between the forms of marijuana that are protected under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that the forms that are not. ”

    But, Mr Humble, it’s all there right in front of you in your original post.

    The criminal code calls marijuana and cannabis 2 different things. Those still apply to everyone who is not a patient under the AMMA.

    For registered patients, the AMMA sets new definitions and protections from the criminal code.

    It clearly defines marijuana as ALL parts of the genus cannabis. Not all parts, except resins. The resins are obviously included in the word ALL parts.

    The definition of usable marijuana is the dried flowers, as well as ANY mixture or preparation. Not dried flowers, minus the resins. The resins are obviously included, as they are as much the part of a dried flower as the leaf, stem or a calyx is.

    You say edibles [both food and drink] are clearly protected and I agree. However, you will not find a single edible in a dispensary right now that contains anything but the plants resins. It’s those resins from the dried flowers that are in the edibles, as that’s where the active ingredients, like THC or CBD are found. The plant matter contains very low, almost unusable amounts of those compounds and taste terrible, which is why it’s discarded.

    Are we really supposed to believe that an extraction of those resins to make infused products are not a legal mixture or preparation covered under the AMMA?

    If I mix glycerin and useable marijuana together, obviously that’s covered. Correct?

    If I apply heat, that would obviously be covered under a preparation. Correct?

    That preparation just infused resins with the glycerin.

    Now, If I place that mixture / preparation and place it in a dropper bottle, pull infused glycerine into that dropper to drop under my tongue, leaving behind the plant matter are you trying to tell me that I just extracted resins and committed a felony under the criminal code?

  9. Walt says:

    According to the rest of the world, marijuana and cannabis can be used interchangeably, i.e. they are the same thing. Cannabis is the Neo-Latin name for marijuana. Marijuana is the common (racial?) name for cannabis. The medical profession uses the term cannabis. The ordinary “Joe” uses the term marijuana, usually. See this reference for a better definition and explanation about the history of the confusion of the terms:

    http://www.howcast.com/videos/506363-Cannabis-vs-Marijuana-Marijuana

    We citizens continue to be amazed at how expert our government is at obfuscation and confusion of simple matters. Marijuana is cannabis and cannabis is marijuana – just like saying that “person” (English) is the same as “homo sapien” (Neo-Latin) – woman vs. senora, etc.

    How can something so simple become so complicated? The advice to ask a lawyer for an answer does not solve the problem, and is expensive. Were it not lawyers who complicated this simple issue in the first place? Only a lawyer can write such confusing definitions. Now we are asked to refer to them for the real answer. Most of the world already knows.

    • Bill Hayes says:

      I fully agree, we should not have to seek legal counsel to participate in the AMMA. It is the task of the AZDHS to make rules and regulations the people can understand. If they (the laws) are to ambiguous they are moot.

  10. Edward says:

    I am a chemist and this argument holds very little weight when you consider that any extraction process will transfer chlorophyll into the resin. Chlorophyll is considered a bio-molecule of cannabis and any green plant for that matter. It is not present in a plants resin molecules, instead chlorophyll is found in the leaf matter of plants. To attempt to distinguish chlorophyll as something other than a plant material/ byproduct is not a realistic simply because it it present in the tissue of every species of green hued plants. Take the chlorophyll out of the equation and then all you have is resin but that is nearly impossible to achieve when the original extraction material was comprised of chlorophyll saturated plant material.

  11. gary says:

    Mr. Humble….according to your interpretation as soon as I pass “marijuana” smoke through my pipe the “cannabis” resin that is left behind in my pipe can now turn me into a felon? If I smoke the same pipe for a month I can get a big chunk of resin! So according to you and law enforcement as soon as a patient Smokes through any type of device the resin left behind is felonious? That’s ridiculous!!!!

  12. Glorious Herbs says:

    what a joke how many patients out there need to hire a lawyer to make sure they don’t get arrested for taking medication. The fact that you recommend that shows your cowardice position just like most of our leaders you are unwilling to take action on behalf of the people you are supposed to represent. Do something about it. And what specific guidance will the dispensaries get that we will not.
    be a fighter not a pushover

    • Bob Regan says:

      So, as a qualified patient, what you’re telling me is that I can use “MARIJUANA” but not “CANNABIS?”

      Obviously, common sense is not listed among the qualifications required to be appointed Director of Arizona Dept. of Health Services.

  13. Johnny Hammond says:

    Lets try a little common sense shall we Mr. Humble? The State of Arizona is trying to find a way to criminalize MMJ patients plain and simple. Google two words cannabis and marijuana and here is what you find…can·na·bis
    ˈkanəbəs/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce hemp fiber and as a psychotropic drug.
    ma·ri·jua·na
    ˌmarəˈ(h)wänə/Submit
    noun
    1.
    cannabis, esp. as smoked in cigarettes.
    synonyms: cannabis, hashish, hemp, sinsemilla;
    Now the State wants to redefine words in the english language simply to promote a failed drug war? Pathetic!

  14. J. Franklin says:

    This is completely ridiculous. This is only being challenged in Arizona. This entire law is so confusing everyone has to have a lawyer just to be healthy

    • Bill Hayes says:

      I fully agree. I looked at this law with a microscope being I am a consultant in the industry and spoke with numerous attorneys, we all agreed, it was allowed under the definition.

      now apparently we are ALL wrong?!?!

  15. K Kendall says:

    Where / When does common sense come into play?

  16. Cathy says:

    As a patient with epilepsy, I have not had a grand mal seizure in 21 years. I have taken prescription meds and marijuana all that time. The concentrates give us the ability to take only the CBD’s of the marijuana plant without having to consume the THC, the psychoactive part of the marijuana plant. Thus giving us better control our ailments and the ability to function as normal people I don’t want to be high, I just don’t want to have a seizure. I drive. I worked so hard to keep this privilege. Please straighten out the DUI issues. An epileptic driving unmedicated is like giving a drunk the keys!

  17. Bryan says:

    Mr Humble,

    It is a shame that certain lawmakers and county attorneys feel the necessity to perpetuate this already failed drug war. Patients, Caregivers, and Dispensaries alike have been persecuted by the very people whose job it is to implement and make sure that the program thrives.

    Concentrates make up nearly 33% of other state’s LEGAL Medical Marijuana sales and there is certainly no overdosing or any other problems associated with it. Let’s call it what it is,simply a way for the state to continue to profit off the persecution. The nit-picking needs to stop, and with the (name removed) case there is a glimmer of hope of precedence being set. I just hope the department sides on the side of the patient when asked for their opinion. I look forward to your response on your personal opinion as well.

    Read about (name removed) journey: This particular family has been in the spotlight lately, they opted to remove part of their child’s brain (TWICE) before considering a legal plan that grows in the ground.

    I too have a child that may need to be treated with Cannabis to live a normal life, so it’s not something I believe should be taken lightly. I would much rather administer a dose through a dropper of tincture, or a concentrated dose of oil in a pill, than to have them smoking a joint. What would you rather your child take, if it came down to it Mr. Humble?

    Your department has done a phenomenal job implementing a program with the challenges you have faced from all sides of the fence, but when it comes to this issue I believe it is on the responsibility of AZDHS to ensure the proper decision is made regarding the healthcare of the state’s patients!

  18. Keil says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Just another way Arizona is using to trap it’s own residents in a loophole law. Patients that are unable to smoke marijuana need an alternative. If we voted in Arizona to legalize medical marijuana that’s what should have been done. Instead the government dangles it in front of us with small print at the bottom. Just another way to trap the law abiding citizens of Arizona and then jail them for what they thought was perfectly fine. We as citizens need to take a stand against these aggressive law practices. It starts with the reformation of the legal system in Arizona and who is in power.

  19. D. Cassidy says:

    Will Humble,

    I am a “Licensed”/”Permitted” “Manufacturer” of “Marijuana” which is classified as a “Narcotic drugs” under Title 13 of the Criminal Code….

    The Arizona Department of Health Services’ Medical Marijuana Program Registry Identification Card authorizes me to “Manufacture” a Narcotic Drug (marijuana) and this includes: the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, administration, delivery, transfer or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate my debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with my debilitating medical condition.

    Can we really pick and choose what statutes we want to use when we interrupt the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act? That is what it looks like you folks are doing down at the Department….

    What about Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)? which still stands today! Or ARS § 41-1030(C)(1) which states: An agency shall not: Make a rule under a specific grant of rule making authority that exceeds the subject matter areas listed in the specific statute authorizing the rule. (Only Authority ARS § 36-2803).

    Can you please get clarification from the Administrative Counsel on this issue of overlapping statutes? The People of Arizona rely on the interpretation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act by the Department to be sensible and to follow the intent of the initiative passed by the voters in 2010.

    This is an issue that can be worked out quickly since the dispensaries pocket books will be lightened after this policy statement became public.

  20. joe says:

    Sounds like AZ prefers the dangerous, unhealthy route. This basically reduces the choices to only smoking plant matter. Extracts provide relief with much smaller dosages than flowers, however, both are excellent to use in tandem. Not to mention that tinctures, edibles, waxes, hashes, and oils are used in similar medical programs in the US.

    Also, seems like a waste of resources since the only people this rule affects are AZ MMJ patients who are proving to be a respectable crowd.

  21. Jeff says:

    This non-sense needs to STOP!

    The AMMA offers crystal clear protection on this issue. A criminal code that defines cannabis resin as something different than marijuana is completely irrelevant to patients protected by the AMMA, because the AMMA sets its own, new definitions and the resins are unquestionably included in “*ALL* parts” of the plant and “ANY mixture or preparation thereof”. The resins are the whole point of the AMMA, as that’s where the medicine is contained!!!!

    These decisions being made here are seriously impacting the lives of people by denying access to safe medicine, financially crushing them through the judicial system or both! Some of them are children who are receiving non-psychoactive CBD extracts to stop seizures and NOTHING else works. WRONG WRONG WRONG!! STOP IT NOW!!!

  22. Yuri says:

    Dear Director Humble,

    I can understand and appreciate the conundrum your department faces. On one hand, you have a very popular program with passionate advocates that was passed by the voters. And on the other hand you have a law enforcement community that wishes to suppress that very vote.

    Up until this blog post, I thought your department had done an admirable job of balancing the needs of all the stakeholders. This blog post has clearly crossed a line.

    You keep advising patients and dispensaries to consult with attorneys. Do you consult with your own attorney? Tom Salow seems to be a competent attorney. What does he have to say about the matter? I would think the advice of an impartial state attorney (Tom Salow) should carry more weight than a county attorney that seeks to overturn the law.

    I think it is important to note that most of the lawsuits filed against DHS or the state have been successful. This is going to be no different.

    Let me tell you the scenario of a likely lawsuit. There is a special needs child that is a qualified patient. That patient can only ingest cannabis by orally consuming it (it is absurd to think the child can smoke a joint/bong/vaporizer etc.). That child relies on a sublingual tincture. That child (through his/her caregiver) acquires the tincture through a dispensary.

    Your interpretation (or Bill Montgomery’s) of cannabis vs. marijuana now deprives that child of his/her ability to have the exact medicine that the law was designed to provide. You will lose this case in both the legal court and the court of public opinion.

    I’m asking you to apply some common sense to this situation. There is NO need for legal action to be taken.

    Respectfully,
    Yuri

    • bill says:

      Very well put. I know a handful of attorneys that would take that case pro-bono.

      This is an easy matter when you boil it all down to the definitions. As has been pointed out and finally recognized by everyone a very real problem exists and a judge and quite possibly an appellate court will have to make a ruling that stops this madness OR the patients will get a defined set of un ambiguous rules and definitions they can abide by, agree with and want to comply with as they are in the spirit of the AMMA.

      We need judicial clarification and I intend on getting it.

      No need to ‘edit’ my name out of any statement here folks. It’s ARIZONA v HAYES this time around. Sorry about that last one Will, sure you understand.

  23. Dave says:

    Mr. Humble,
    First thank you for informing and attempting to add clarity to a very unclear situation.
    I’m sure the last thing you had thought when taking up your post would be to find yourself knee deep in cannabis and the hypocrisy that it entails.

    (And now for my rant)
    We first had Cannabis then came Marijuana the name “Marijuana” was created with the sole intent to demonize this plant where as Cannabis was used as a medical term and in fact is the root word for canvas.
    Either way they are the same plant, we could just as easily outlaw the pickling of cucumis sativus but it is OK to pickle cucumbers. Makes little sense to differentiate the two.

    To see our AMMA be thwarted over semantics is incredibly frustrating and ultimately a detriment to those who have found this safer and in most cases much more efficacious alternative to what our current pharmacopoeia offers.
    Our tax dollars being spent in such frivolity and in direct contrast to what WE the voters passed.
    It is an outrage for those of us that are on the front lines of this topic, to have gone so far and be relegated to the first days of prohibition is a low blow indeed.
    Nevertheless it is a last ditch effort and one that will bare no fruit.

    For our benefit I am including a link to our US patent on Cannabis (in case any of you have not yet seen it)

    https://www.google.com/patents/US6630507?dq=6630507&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wi0mUpyWCqb8iQK2lIHYBQ&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA

    Mr Humble
    If you are unfamiliar with this document please take a look, if our own federal government can hold a patent on Cannabis as a neural protect ant and anti oxidant
    it speaks volumes. How then can our narrow sighted policy makers justify the spending of our tax dollars to potentially incarcerate otherwise law abiding citizens on a difference in vernacular.

    Not to split hairs but on your BIO
    http://directorsblog.health.azdhs.gov/?page_id=1625

    it states that you led the implementation of the AMMA
    The term led would indicate that it is now complete,
    however it goes without question that our AMMA is fractured and not fully realized.
    This of course was not a failing of yours to take nearly 3 years to open our first dispensary.
    But it would appear that it is important enough for you to list it as one of your achievements.
    We would like you to lead this to it’s full implementation Mr. Humble we could use your voice in our chorus not simply act as referee.

    Thank you for your time

    • Blessedone333 says:

      I love your rant Dave, but you are way to logical and give way to many details for this argument! lol

      The enemy is the AMMA and has been since ‘medicine’ became only a business to them and they are not a board to protect the health of patients!

      WE THE PEOPLE must hold these doctors’ feet to the fire and make sure we stop the oppression of cannabis!

  24. gregg says:

    Myself and my patients are all over 60 yrs old and smoking is not an option for us.

    In the DHS newsletter you even state:
    Housing facilities (like nursing homes and hospices) can place reasonable restrictions on residents’ use of medical marijuana. This includes requiring that marijuana be taken in a way other than smoking.

    Based on the above statement I bought a machine from http://www.magicalbutter.com that lets me cook out the resins of the plant into butter for baking. Two of my older patients prefer resins mixed into food grade glycerin for a tincture to put under their tongue.

    Now, i have no clue how to help my patients.

  25. Doug says:

    Mr. Humble,
    There seems to be many valid questions asked on your blog, could you please resond to some of them?

  26. Kirah says:

    Will Humble is not going to resolve this issue. He didnt write the proposition and that is where this should have been addressed. DHS is an administrative agency and not law enforcement. As with any good cause, it is going to require legal action and once again DHS will probably lose (although they probably would like someone to clear it up as well).

    At this point, dispensaries have made some money and have the most pecuniary interest in this issue, so they should be the ones who take it to court. Patients can’t individually wage the battle and clearly the fight needs to begin.

    Yuri? Walt? Billy? You dispensary owners know who you are. Step up to the plate. There are a few attorneys in town who are really familiar with this issue and will wage the war! Time for talking…and blogging is over. It. Is time for action!

    • James says:

      Kirah is right! Enough of this madness. Forget complaint to DHS. This issue needs to head to court…and soon! It’s the only way it is going to get resolved.

      Law enforcement is distinguishing marijuana from hash, kief and oils that increase the % of THC intensity when combined with glycerin, alcohol, CO2. So, just add butter to cannabis and make your recipe as you would normally make it. Increase or decrease the potency with non-infused ingredients and leave the extractions alone…for now. There are products that are made like that out there and quite effective.

      It’s unfortunate that the people who are being adversely affected are the ones who need it the most — the elderly, children and patients who don’t – and shouldn’t smoke. However, DHS isn’t law enforcement and the problem isn’t with the AMMA. The problem is with the criminal code, which should have been addressed when we all voted on the proposition.

      So this is just another hiccup. Let’s forge ahead and commence the lawsuit – DHS is used to it by now – and let’s make this right. The patients of Arizona deserve it!

    • Bill Hayes says:

      Kirah, I am trying my best to fight this issue all the way to the top if need be. I go to court on the 25th which is wed. of this week. My attorney (name removed) and I will be attacking this issue head on as it relates to my case.

      To assist with the legal defense of the use of extractions in Arizona please go to…
      http://gogetfunding.com/project/t-h-e-f-t-help-protect-az-mmj-patients

      and donate whatever you can afford.

      1 <3 AZ

      Bill

  27. Dorothy Lawson says:

    It’s simple, really. If an individual has a medical marijuana card and uses medication consisting of “marijuana” and “cannabis” they should be able to rest assured that they won’t to be punished for their medication under the criminal law. When referring to a situation when a patient with a medical marijuana card is involved , the AMMA supersedes the criminal law. Meaning cannabis is marijuana and the various extracts, edibles, topicals, etc. are all within the AMMA. As it is understood now, we have minor patients that are committing felonies. Clarification and movement is needed asap. We have patients suffering while we wait. The time to make change is now.

    Food for thought.
    700 Medical Cannabis Studies sorted by Disease
    http://weedbay.net/index.php/700-mmj-clinical-studies

    These studies hold a higher merit than merely stating “cannabis” heals.

    Thank you. I look forward to a quick response.

    Dorothy

  28. bill says:

    Please see my comments above

  29. Cathy says:

    Mr. Humble

    Now this is real important to fux this fast. The 5 year old boy with epilepsy as been but on hold. He fuve and can’t smoke. Please work fast to right all the issue!

  30. Kathy Inman says:

    After seeing the lives transformed and hearing the stories from folks who have been able to take less pharmaceuticals and use a completely natural substance since Proposition 203 passed almost three years ago, I cannot see how anyone in the medical field can reasonably argue against marijuana.

    For thousands of years it has been used for everything from daily pain relief to cures for common ills. More current studies are showing cannabis compounds reverse the growth of cancer cells. Anyone who is in a position to protect public health cannot argue these facts, many which anyone can find on our own National Cancer Institute and American Medical Association’s website.

    While you allow our trusted doctors to prescribe toxic pharmaceuticals for daily maintenance medication to one in five children in the United States, and Arizona is sixth in the nation for prescription drug overdose, you folks continue to split hairs and keep this natural, immensely effective cure all away from the public. Those charged with public safety should be ashamed of themselves for this hypocrisy, which allow us to lose ten children a month to opiate overdose in Arizona alone, while marijuana has never taken a life on record.

  31. With all due respect, Mr. Humble, your position against Prop 203 from the beginning is evidenced throughout your administration of AMMA. Law enforcement have used your excuses for such warrants as seizure & forfeiture without a conviction. As it now stands, Apache County Sheriffs arrest people after leaving dispensaries in other counties. Navajo County is issuing search warrants into Gila and Apache Counties, seizing vehicles, computers and patients medications which were legally obtained by qualified patients. Yet Judge Roca said that the law was much clearer than many laws scripted by the Legislature. Big mistake was repealing section 12 and distinction regarding qualified patient status. That repeal placed police in between the Dr. and the patient. Nowhere but Arizona and the federal government can simple things get so confounded.

  32. anonymous says:

    Will Humble is obviously inline with all the propaganda and the corporate monopolies that have tried to take over our state compassion laws to turn them into profits for the state and these crooked businessman and politicians. They actually hired PRIVATE lawyers, instead of using public defenders, with money from the AMMA that patients paid into for their court cases that patients are trying to fight for their rights to establish real COMPASSION laws. That is a disgusting abuse of funds, Will Humble. We are coming for your job now and any politician that had ANYTHING to do with putting you into your position as Health Director. We’ve had enough. We’d like to see you and the cronies you work for behind bars for violating our Arizona state constitution and preventing sick people from having access to their natural, non-toxic, inexpensive medicine. Shame on you, Will Humble. It is not your responsibility to “protect” us from a NON-TOXIC PLANT!!! You compared it to TOXIC, synthetic amoxicillin!?! “Let me put it this way: Are people allowed to grow their own amoxicillin?” HOW ARE YOU HEALTH DIRECTOR!?! How are you head of this program? You know nothing…I mean absolutely nothing about cannabis!!! If anything, from a medical POV, cannabis is closer to the aloe plant since neither one of them has ever killed a single person in our history. Even further you try and separate the two words cannabis and marijuana by some new definition?! Hello McHumble…marijuana and cannabis are the same thing. One is derived from the Spanish language and the other from English. Harry Ansliger (racist and fascist) used the Spanish term Marijuana to get Hemp and Cannabis illegal in this country because nobody new what marijuana was at that time and they created a HUGE propaganda campaign to make INDUSTRIAL HEMP illegal to knock out natural competition to their SYNTHETIC products. If you had half a conscious then you would realize that this is not your job and these laws were a stepping stone for us and that we will NEVER GIVE UP! Just take a look at your blog…you barely have any comments on non-AMMA related posts. We will never stop until the right thing is done here and NON-TOXIC plant based medicines are completely free again. Anything else is based out of fear propaganda spewed out by corrupt and ignorant sell outs who want a chunk of the money being generated by this cash crop, but contribute absolutely NOTHING to growing and making the products. Your arguments have no science behind them at all. They don’t hold water for anyone that knows this plant and you obviously do not. So how are you head of this program again? We need a new director that knows this plant if they are to have anything to do with regulation, which in of itself will soon be a thing of the past with new legalization and regulation laws for recreational use. So, you have 2 choices…educate yourself and get on board like Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently did or prepare to be replaced. Even Arizona State Senator John McCain has talked about legalizing cannabis this past Thursday. You are way behind the curve, Will Humble. The fact that you hired private attorneys using AMMA funds to try and keep this unconstitutional abuse of your power and funds is disgusting to us. You think if this law suit doesn’t work, that we are going to roll over??? We will NEVER STOP until the goal of legalizing nature is done. You are nothing more than an annoying speed bump on our path.

    We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

    • Will Humble says:

      I know that the common words marijuana and cannabis are the same- scientifically and otherwise.

      In this post I’m pointing out that the legal definitions of marijuana in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is different from the legal definition in the Criminal Code (Title 13).

      I was alerting patients and dispensary agents that law enforcement and prosecutors may not view certain extracts like hashish and keif as protected under AMMA- potentially putting patients at risk for prosecution despite being a card carrying patient.

      • Bill Hayes says:

        thank you for doing it Will!!

        Don’t bash this guy for warning you people, I have been warning people for a while now as have others from down in Tucson, so if you haven’t heard it’s because you didn’t want to hear. Go to a NORML meeting, get educated by those of us on the front lines in this fight.

        Will, seriously, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for putting out the red flag, patients needed to know!!

        Many people do NOT understand that words are defined in legislation because once you walk into a court room those definitions could mean life or death to someone. words are very important, they have meaning and meaning is forever.

        I am hoping to help re-define or rather “clarify” some of these issues Wednesday in court with the help of (name removed) my attorney and a little co-operation on the State’s part.

        There is no reason for people to go to jail for doing what they thought was legal based on the wording of the AMMA, the statements made previously by law enforcement, statements made by AZDHS/Will Humble, etc.

        Will got called out on it folks and he did what he thought was right and made a statement. Don’t hate, wave it all over town so every patient knows, every dispensary agent knows, etc.

        how many of you posted this to your social media pages?? Will did ;)

  33. lauthas says:

    I only have one question. Did you think of the effect your department is causing the poor in justification of the 25 mile rule? I am really not trying to be rude, but your program is causing my niece to suffer with debilitating seizures, with no money to provide for her meds. She has little to no seizures on cannabis (marijuana), and she has tons of seizures without it. She is not able to just drive to a dispensary to get her cannabis (marijuana) as she is unable to drive, she is on a fixed income of $710.00, goes through an OZ a month right now, and needs high CBD strain, any way you look at this you can tell that she is unable to afford a dispensary.

    • Will Humble says:

      The voter approved statutory language stated that we’re not allowed to approve self cultivation if the patient lives within 25 miles of a dispensary. We can’t change statutory language. Only the voters or legislature with a super-majority can do that.

      The ADHS regulations that we adopted defined that as a 25 mile radius. We’re looking at redefining that to be 25 miles by road in the rule package that we’re developing in response to the dispensary 1-year timeline lawsuit.

      • anonymous says:

        So, please explain to your fellow state citizens how to get legislature started, because they already hold the super majority. Arizona is poised to be one of the next legalized for recreational use states, with groups like Safer Arizona & using the same logistics that cannabis is safer than alcohol and most prescription drugs. I suggest you read this article that is far more science and objective than most of the propaganda that is put out there about cannabis use and driving ability… http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-and-driving-a-scientific-and-rational-review

        Arizona needs their laws to be backed by science, not propaganda, if they ever want their citizens to respect and obey them. In other words, you have a long way to go in your homework, Will Humble and gang. You are far from experts in this subject and you are head of this program??? By using our common sense, we can all see that makes completely no sense at all. Do you claim to be an expert in cannabis cultivation and have experience with its use for medical benefits without the toxicity of prescription drugs? Are you claiming to understand this better than the people who have used this miracle plant and want at least the OPTION and freedom and liberty of doing their own organic farming and cultivation to make sure that they know exactly what they are getting with their herbal medicine.

        This program and its 25 mile rule are a bad joke for compassion laws and the people that depend on them. If you were smart about this, you would let this lawsuit win against the 25 mile rule for the will of the people, because they are not going to stop there and are getting more and more funding for their cause every day to attack your program from multiple angles and pick it apart for any injustices including boycotting your program and its dispensaries and going back to the dangerous black market or moving to a REAL compassionate state, like this admin has done. They will be organizing and rallying together to come for the jobs of the politicians and directors that stand in the way of progress of legalizing nature once again. You are backing up propaganda and archaic laws with flawed science and an assault against nature and crimes against humanity for the rise of synthetic petroleum markets in medicine and everything else that hemp and cannabis could replace from fiber, fuel, food, medicine, paper, etc…that allow corporations and banking cartels to have a monopoly against the very citizens and consumers they depend on and against the average farmer in America or abroad. These issues are much bigger than you realize, Will Humble and you are on the wrong side on your losing battle as history will show, as your actions of backing up old ideology are coming to pass. We are paying close attention to this lawsuit, while we line up full legalization campaigns in Arizona, along with other strategies to make nature free again in your state.
        We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

    • bill says:

      I can help her, please contact me. Nobody knows more caregivers and patients in this state than me, meaning I have the resources to help your niece. We custom blend plant matter to achieve low THC and high cbd mixtures of medicine.

      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner

  34. lauthas says:

    Mr. Humble, isnt the state and you being sued over the 25 mile rule, and the fact that it is unconstitutional? The reason why it is because of that very fact sir….the language was wrong to begin with….I think the will of the people should be listened to as we were the ones that placed you in office.

    The ONLY dog I have in this fight is for my niece, she is suffering Mr. Humble, sir I seriously think this is awful that your department is not stepping up to the plate for patients, instead you and the state want to fight the movement and define wording of cannabis and marijuana.

    If this goes the way I feel it will, if these actions are not taken seriously I doubt re-election will happen for you, or anyone else that stands in the way, even Mr. McCian can see this. The only smart politics is the one that is driven by the people!

    • Jay says:

      Don’t waste your time, these idiots can barely get dressed in the morning! Bunch of worthless idiots better of just suing them and winning, then to waste time trying to find a middle ground

  35. It is pretty obvious to users that marijuana prohibition laws are not “for their own good.” In addition to the above, legal marijuana would be clean and free from adulterants.

  36. lauthas says:

    Thank you for the non response. I understand that you have no comment to the above, I would really like you to meet my niece, and others that are being destroyed by rules and retoric of the department that you are the head of. Maybe if you did, you would understand the plight that the people are under and not be against a natural remedy that needs not to be illegal to a patient.

  37. Gregg says:

    cannabis oil CURES cancer. it is proven to cause Cell death in cancer. The Oil that is extracted (RSO) AKA : Rick Simpson Oil AKA Cannabis Oil, Hash OIL. many names. BUT the fact Mr. Humble is that the voters approved medical Marijuana. With That the OILS and Extracts that work for differant people at differant levels..All of your Pharma drugs are taken and concintrated into differant doses. Cannabis is the same. I have seen with my own eyes it cure people of cancer, and help with a huge number of medical conditions. By a patient being able to know what strains work for them and how they need to dispense their own medicine they can treat themselves. I myself was in a wheel chair I was on all kinds of drugs. they kept me in the chair. I started cannabis and I have left the chair behind now, 7 years. Big Pharm wanted me to stay in it. Cannabis Cures and has kept this 25 year HIV survivor alive both mentally and physically. No Mr Humble you bending to a fanatic like Mr, Montgomery is not the intent of the people.

  38. Jay says:

    Will I am a medical cannabis patient ( marijuana is a slang term that came from the illict market!!! ) Cannabis is the scientific name for the marijuana plant why is this even a arguement?! I will not be refered to as a marijuana patient as I’m not one I’m a CANNABIS PATIENT THAT USES THE CANNABIS PLANT!!! WHAT A IDIOT

  39. Dr. Patel says:

    As a physician certifying patients for cannabis I find it difficult to explain to them that our laws and the Department of Health encourage smoking. While I have seen certain conditions respond better to smoking rather than topicals or edibles, from a health perspective, the lotions for joint pain or the edibles for back pain are far more effective. I guess common sense is not always that common.

  40. Blessedone333 says:

    gee, I wonder if any of my comments will be ‘approved’ by the moderator!!! lol

    Humble, learn how you are being used by the enemy and change your ways to become an ADVOCATE for health. Or your legacy will be how you once again helped the enemy destroy the health of a nation, your choice but I got news for ya buddy, the tide is changing and the truth will not be held secret for too much longer. WHICH SIDE DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR FIGHTING FOR? the enemy or the patients?

  41. DW says:

    Looks like Judge Katherine Cooper disagrees with you, Mr Humble. The AMMA was clear that ALL usable forms of marijuana were ok.

  42. Arlin Troutt says:

    Mr. Humble as you may know 5 yr. Old Zander Welton had a court hearing on February 14, 2014 also in front of Judge Katherine Cooper. Zander’s parents were being threatened with arrest by County Attorney Bill Montgomery if they gave Zander the marijuana oil he needs for his seizures. Judge Cooper ruled on that issue this morning in Zander’s favor. She also set up the perfect storm of litigation to hold you accountable for you outrageous and destructive interpretations of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) The pain, suffering, death and other damages that have occurred as a result of these continuing incoherent interpretations of the AMMA language. You and Mr. Mongomery have been warned repeatedly about playing games with this law yet you continue down the illegal path as if you don’t understand the damage you are doing or the laws you are ignoring and violating.
    I am preparing a lawsuit that will not be like the others. You have an opportunity to talk to me about this and save the taxpayers a lot of legal fees and serious legal problems for yourself. You have stepped outside your ream of authority and found yourself on the wrong side of the law, history and the citizens of Arizona and the United States of America. What you have done goes past the point of punitive damages. I’m giving you the opportunity to get some really good advice and help get you on the right side of the law, science, medicine and history.

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