Voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010 to allow patients to more effectively treat their debilitating medical conditions. Since then, parents of children with serious seizure disorders have seen the life-changing impact marijuana extracts have on their kids. An Arizona appeals court decision now threatens to make that medicine illegal. The ACLU of Arizona recently filed a brief asking the Arizona Supreme Court to review the case and stop this from happening.
The brief was filed on behalf of eleven parents whose children rely on marijuana extracts to treat their serious medical conditions.
There’s 7-year-old Devin, who suffers from severe epilepsy. Traditional medication and three brain surgeries were unable to stop his seizures. With the use of marijuana extracts, Devin goes months without seizures. He can play with his brothers and sisters and is progressing in school.
There’s 11-year-old Ashley, who suffers from a rare brain malformation that causes seizures. Traditional medications were no help with the seizures and Ashley was regressing developmentally from being over-medicated. With the use of marijuana extracts, however, Ashley is alert, happy, and able to enjoy life.
There’s 2-year-old Jordyn, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that has caused her to suffer thousands of seizures in her short life. Jordyn’s disorder cannot be treated with anti-seizure medications. With marijuana extracts, Jordyn’s seizures are controlled, and she is able to smile, play, and develop normally.
The Court of Appeals ruling leaves patients like Devin, Ashley, Jordyn, and many others, with an impossible choice: continue treatment and risk arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment, or cease the use of medicine that has eased previously intractable pain and suffering. This threat to patients and their families is real. No parent should face a prison sentence for doing what’s best for their child.
The ruling also ignores the will of the voters, who passed the Medical Marijuana Act less than a decade ago. When Arizona voters approved the law, they intended for patients to be able to lawfully access medical marijuana in the form most helpful to them. This ruling threatens the health and wellbeing of patients throughout Arizona.
The Court of Appeals’ ruling stems from a case out of Yavapai County in which a medical marijuana patient named Rodney Jones was convicted and sentenced to prison for possessing a marijuana extract he obtained from a state-licensed dispensary. We are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to take another look at this case and reverse the Court of Appeals’ harmful decision. We hope the Justices will listen to the pleas of parents and protect all medical marijuana patients in Arizona.