Medical marijuana would provide revenue for Ariz. but what about illegal growers?

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – The November election is coming up and one of the propositions voters will tackle is Proposition 203, which is also known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Initiative.

Medical marijuana has brought millions of dollars in revenue to California, but it has also created problems, such as illegal pot growers who see California as an easy mark when it comes to making money.

In Santa Clara, Calif., a drug task force of state and local agencies seized marijuana, money and weapons in a recent sting operation.

Undercover officers called numerous medical marijuana delivery services and arrested delivery drivers who sold them pot without asking for medical marijuana cards.

As a result, 22 people are behind bars and 25 pounds of marijuana, as well as assault weapons with ammunition and hundreds of plants, were confiscated.

Police say that under the law, only authorized caregivers can provide medical marijuana.

“These folks have perverted the term ‘caregiver’ for their own financial gain and they're hiding behind the medicinal marijuana concept,” said Santa Clara police Chief Stephen Lodge.

Michael Hovland with MedEx Collective and Deliveries said he had a driver busted but insists most drivers are just assisting caregivers.

“We've seen the need for people that are unable to leave their home, most of the time due to illness,” he said.

Dave Hodges with San Jose Cannabis Buyers Collective said he received one of those undercover calls for pot and refused to sell because the request did not come from a patient. He said he is glad he avoided arrest and also welcomes the enforcement.

“We have 75 collectives and there hasn't been any regulations in place so it's kind of the Wild West right now,” Hodges said.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the people arrested could face jail time or, depending on the amount of marijuana and weapons, could also be sentenced to prison.