A Navajo County judge has made an anti-cannabis ruling that could put many Arizonans reliant on medical marijuana at risk. The ruling determines that all cannabis extracts, such as CBD oil are prohibited in the state. Frustratingly, this ruling has been given not because of evidence against medical cannabis, but due to a misunderstanding of the herb.
The judge ruled that extracts taken from marijuana are ‘cannabis’ – since the two words define the same plant, this doesn’t really make sense. But as far as Arizonan law is concerned, there is a difference between ‘cannabis’ and ‘marijuana’. ‘Marijuana products’ are permitted for medical use in the state, however ‘cannabis products’ are banned. This crucial misunderstanding of cannabis terminology could have damaging results, although some remain optimistic.
The majority of Arizona residents are able to purchase and use products made with cannabis extracts without needing a medical marijuana card. The worst-case scenario is that this ruling forces all cannabis users in Arizona to apply for a card, and that all ‘cannabis extract’ products currently sold within the state – and even those with minimal THC concentrations – have to be removed from the shelves.
The cannabis community in Arizona is hopeful and fairly confident that the state’s Supreme Court will reverse the Navajo County judge’s ruling, however these events have created a climate of uncertainty.
Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association (MITA) executive director, Dimitri Downing, doesn’t think that people should become too alarmed about the ruling. However, the political stances of the judges currently sitting in the Arizona Supreme Court doesn’t make a reversal guaranteed. Downing explains that judges have ruled differently in the past, but until they convene, “it will be business as usual” in the state.
MITA has gone in search of some legal counsel to give them some backup over the ruling, which indicates they are – at least – slightly worried. For now, though, cannabis activists in Arizona just need to swot up on the existing laws and precedents for marijuana products. Downing says that “a team of three attorneys” are working to get up to speed.
It’s not inevitable that this case will end up going to the Supreme Court, although most believe that it’s the most likely outcome. Downing expects the judges to “rule on the side of reason.” He also says that should the ruling go against Arizonan medical marijuana users, they will be able to succeed through the legislative route, by electing new lawmakers that will bring in more comprehensive marijuana laws.
A complete ban on CBD products in Arizona strikes as both unlikely, and a long way off if it were to happen. But the ruling in Navajo County has made some MMJ patients wary.
An owner of a CBD dispensary in Arizona voiced concern on behalf of his customers about the ruling. Those affected include people who are dependent on CBD to treat serious ailments, and others who are taking it to help cope with less serious complaints.
9-year-old could be left without working medication
Annalise Estrada is a perfect example of an Arizona patient who needs CBD products. Her mother Mary is a customer at the same dispensary, and her and Annalise’s life was turned upside down after Annalise became sick at the age of 9. Initially, doctors believed that she was suffering with stomach flu, but once the seizures began and picked up in frequency, the Estradas knew they had to seek a second opinion, and quickly.
It turned out that Annalise was suffering from a rare form of epilepsy known as Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome, or FIRES. An extremely unusual and rare brain condition, Annalise’s mother was unsure about how to best help her daughter. She took it upon herself to do her own research and found out that CBD oil could potentially be beneficial. Indeed, many child epilepsy patients in America have been treated successfully with CBD oil.
The hospital was very hesitant about medicating Annalise with CBD, however they eventually conceded to her parent’s wishes. Since being administered CBD, Annalise has made a remarkable recovery that has managed the FIRES and allowed her to enjoy a high quality of life.
The dispensary owner sharply said, “You tell that mother her child should be dead.” As more and more tales about how CBD is having a life-changing effect on patients emerge, it’s hard to believe that some lawmakers and judges are fighting against the compound. Hopefully the Arizona Supreme Court will see sense and supersede the Navajo County judge’s ruling.