John McCain
U.S. Sen. John McCain speaks Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, at a news conference opposing Proposition 203, which would legalize medical marijuana. McCain, U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and other GOP leaders spoke against the proposal.

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl led a group of Republican officials Wednesday denouncing a ballot measure that would allow medical marijuana.

“Marijuana for medical treatment is the foot in the door for legalization,” Kyl said at a news conference opposing Proposition 203.

McCain, who is running for a fifth term, pointed out that the medical community has declined to back medical marijuana.

“We obviously have great sympathy for those who struggle in pain or discomfort from debilitating diseases and medical conditions,” McCain said, “but this proposition is not the solution.”

Proposition 203 would allow those with qualifying medical conditions to receive 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from licensed dispensaries. Those living too far from a dispensary could grow up to 12 plants.

Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 1996, but the measure never took effect because it required a doctor’s prescription, which is illegal under federal law.

Rick Romley, the interim Maricopa Country attorney, said that Proposition 203 is a stepping stone toward legalization without serious discussion of the issue.

“It’s a fair question of whether we should legalize it or not,” Romley said. “I welcome that debate. But they don’t want that debate.”

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said that the inclusion of chronic pain as a qualifying condition would lead to abuse. In states with similar laws, roughly 95 percent of users claim to have pain in order to get the drug, she said.

“This is not a tightly regulated scheme to dispense marijuana as medicine to the seriously ill; the opposite is true,” Polk said.

Standing by outside the news conference was Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, the lead group supporting Proposition 203. He said leaders often want to appear tough on marijuana use because they don’t want to seem soft on crime.

“Unfortunately, I think this policy is more supported by the people of Arizona than the leaders of Arizona,” Myers said.

(3) comments

Azgulch

Senator Kyle,

If Medical marijuana opens the door to full legalization, then so does mothers's milk. What are you sir, a politician or a psychologist. What qualifies you to know why people need and want Marijuana?

Sen McCain,

The Medical trade opposes legalization because they want to sell drugs that are more expensive and difficult to obtain.

Whom do you folks represent? Certainly not your constituents. And certainly not those who would appreciate some compassion and effort on their behalf to ameliorate their pain.

LiquidNeedle

Do these People(senators) know what the hell they are talking about????No to MEDICAL Marijuana??? Well let me tell you all something. I have lived with someone addicted to pain pills Because the body grows an immunity to them after a period of time. YOU cannot get addicted to Marijuana scientist have proven it to many times. SO, I am to take it that Booz Is safer??? Or Oxycotin, or any other pain pill??? I think NOT!! Plus this gives our state jobs, It is not like we are saying" Oh smoke pot It is ok", NO this is for people who are in need of other means other that PILLS!!!!! Pills kill families, ,so by saying that you dont agree with Medical Marijuana Must mean that your OK with people boozing up and take MORE powerful narcotics. Marijuana has many good uses. And if the dammn ngoverment would look at it like dollars to be made bt taxing it JUST like they do booz, Maybe we could get out of our debt, and become the richest country agian.[sad]

TruthSeeker

There is no such thing as "medical" marijuana. If this passes, does this mean we will replace Ritalin for your kid's ADHD and let them become mellow by smoking a joint? Oh, but then we will have a bigger problem with obesity because of the munchies.[wink]

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