Medical marijuana might be on Arizona's 2014 ballot

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- In an effort to repeal Arizona's controversial voter-approved medical marijuana law, a Fountain Hills representative wants to put the measure back on the ballot.

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh on Thursday filed a bill to put the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act on the November 2014 ballot.

Arizona voters passed the act -- Proposition 203 -- in November 2010. The initiative "called on the Arizona Department of Health Services to create a medical marijuana program within 120 days from the official election results," according to the DHS medical-marijuana program page.

Expressing concern about the state medical marijuana law clashing with federal drug laws, Kavanagh wants voters to have an opportunity to rethink the program and decided if the measure should have been passed in 2010.

Kavanagh also cited the 2012 Arizona Youth Survey, which found that roughly 1 of every 10 Arizona school students in grades 8, 10 and 12 who reported recent marijuana use said they got it from a card holder.

More than 30,000 people have obtained cards authorizing them to use it for certain medical conditions.

The state chose 97 dispensary operators in August. At this point there are three authorized dispensaries up and running. The first one, Arizona Organix, opened in Glendale on Dec. 6. The other two are in Tucson (Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies) and Cochise (Cathy’s Compassion Center).

The law allows for 126 dispensaries throughout the state. Card holders who live within 25 miles of a dispensary are not permitted to grow their own pot.

While the Legislature would need to approve Kavanagh's bill to refer the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act back to the ballot, Gov. Jan Brewer's signature is not necessary.

Kavanagh, who represents District 8, has been a member of the Arizona Legislature since 2007. Before that, he spent six years on the Fountain Hills Town Council.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.