arizona marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

How Many Medical Marijuana Patients Are There In Arizona?

arizona marijuanaI was recently asked by a reader ‘how many medical marijuana patients are there in Arizona?’ The question came up in an e-mail exchange that involved Arizona’s chances of legalizing marijuana in 2016, which by the way I think the chances are very strong. The State of Arizona releases an annual statistical report about its medical marijuana program, will on being issued very recently that included the number of patients. Per Main Street:

The report reveals that during the state’s fiscal year, July 2013 to June 2014, there were a total of 52,374 active cardholders. This included 51,783 qualifying patients and 591 caregivers. 904 dispensary agent cards were issued.

Women comprised approximately 32% of the total qualifying patients and 33% of the total caregivers. Some 4% of patients and 62% of caregivers were authorized to cultivate pot. Men were 72% of the users, and women were 31%. The highest age demographic among men was between the ages of 18 and 30. They represented 32% of all male users, numbering about 9,500. Among women, the largest age demographic was between 51 and 60, numbering about 4,303.

I’m sure marijuana opponents will look at these stats and point out the high number of younger people that are in the program. I would point out to these opponents that younger people are more likely to be open minded about using medical marijuana, and their minds aren’t as saturated with reefer madness compared to some members of older generations. Marijuana is medicine, and is far safer than pharmaceutical drugs, whether opponents want to admit it or not.

  • Dave_K

    Our War on Drugs has given us cheaper drugs, more potent drugs, and easier access for our kids and we have spent over a TRILLION dollars to obtain this. Under the current system marijuana has become the number one cash crop in the US. Kevin Sabet worries that big business will become involved if we legalize and regulate marijuana. I’ve got news for Kevin that we already have a multibillion dollar business involved and that these are not nice people. We should encourage responsible businesses to be involved that settle disputes in court rather than support a system that encourages the Mexican cartel dealers that settle their disputes with guns on our streets and in our neighborhoods. Our failed drug war policy is the second most costly failed policy on record, just behind slavery. A well regulated and legal system for marijuana provides access for adults, promotes public safety, keeps profits out of the hands of gangs, and keeps drugs out of the hands of our children. I am inclined to believe our kids before I believe the legions of addiction specialists, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officials who are paid for their opinions by the War on Drugs.

    Our own children have told us how we can make marijuana and other drugs more difficult for them to get. The SAMSHA drug surveys conducted yearly by the federal government have reported for close to twenty years now that kids say that they can get marijuana more easily than alcohol or tobacco. Most said that they could get it in 30 minutes or less if they choose to do so. This means that our children also have access to black tar heroin, meth, and other dangerous drugs from cartel dealers that bring them by the ton crossed our Southern border.

    As a society we have decided to allow adults to use tobacco and alcohol even though we realize that they are dangerous and that kids should not use them. We keep these substances from kids by requiring those who sell them to ask for ID’s and we take away their licenses to sell if they are caught doing so. We have absolutely no control over this unless marijuana is legal and regulated. The real question that will be posed by the legalization ballots is, “If people are determined to continue to use marijuana, do you support sales by the Mexican drug cartels who also sell meth, cocaine, and black tar heroin and settle their disputes with guns on our streets and in our neighborhoods or do you support legal marijuana retailers that ask for ID, pay taxes, do not sell other drugs, and refuse to sell to our kids?” Legalize marijuana and regulate in 2016. We have to make marijuana at least as hard for our children to obtain as alcohol and tobacco. This is the right thing to do for our communities, for our children, and for the people of Arizona. A vote for cannabis legalization does not condone its use, it condemns a costly prohibition that causes more harm than it prevents.

    • Denny

      This may be the most succinct presentation on the issue that I’ve read to date.
      These are thoughtful statements that clearly convey the message without getting into the realm of vagueness and make believe–excellent job!

      • Dave_K

        Thank you Denny. I have studied this for many years and I am convinced that legalization and regulation is the best available alternative for all concerned. That being said, we have to bring the “soccer moms” on board. This is an important group that does vote and who has taken NIDA’s distorted message, hook, line and sinker. As a result I have spent time trying to collect information that would be important to families who are likely to be harmed by our current approach rather than to preach to the choir who already knows that legalization and regulation will work. I believe that progress can be made by promoting the documentaries that actually shows the effects of marijuana on people, like the one produced by Dr Sanjay Gupta (Weed and Weed2) and moreover by continuing to tell the truth about our failed War on Drugs. I don’t agree with all of Dr Gupta’s statements but he clearly is heading in the right direction. Despite the attempts by our government to prevent the study of marijuana, it is clear that the scientific evidence that accumulates here and that comes from other countries continues to favor the use of marijuana as medicine to treat a variety of disorders. Believe it or not, Rick Simpson who has told us for years that marijuana can cure cancer is right. For years I thought he was “nuts.” The evidence is there not just for epilepsy and cancer but for many other disorders. Google cannabis and any imaginable disorder and you can find a lot of information. Study the cannabanoid system in the human body. Each of us has cannabanoids within us that are produced by our own bodies. The endocannabanoid system regulates and normalizes our own body’s functioning in many of its own systems, naturally. Cannabanoids are not foreign to our bodies and those in the plant are good substitutes for those already in our bodies that are ravaged by our exposure to toxic chemicals and due to our lifestyles. There are even cannabanoids in “mother’s milk.” This plant is not as dangerous as our government would have us believe. Their interest is in our money and not for our health and well-being. Legalization and regulation to allow adult use makes sense for all concerned with the exception of those who are paid for their opinions by the War on Drugs.

  • Sarijuana

    Good report. Thanks for posting.