A hearing happening this week is set to determine whether or not Arizona pulled the plug too soon on a petition to include Parkinson's as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana usage.
"If you have Parkinson's, there is research out there that shows cannabis can be helpful," said Heather Manus who is a nurse.
"We find that cannabis can actually help the brain to heal, it can help with many of the side effects of the medications, including tremors that come along with Parkinson's disease," she said.
It's information they included in their petition, a petition the Arizona Department of Health Services denied.
In a letter explaining their decision the department stated, "The petition does not provide sufficient evidence that the use of marijuana will provide therapeutic or palliative benefit for the medical condition or a treatment of the medical condition to be further considered at this time."
AZDHS explained that without meeting that requirement they cannot move forward with the petition.
You can view the full letter from the AZDHS by clicking here.
The Association has the right to appeal, which they're doing. That appeal hearing started Tuesday, May 3 and will continue Wednesday, May, 4.
"We're hoping that the Judge decides that it goes forward, and there is a public hearing on it or decides based on the evidence to actually list it," said Attorney Ken Sobel.
In response to the appeal Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said,
“The Department administers the medical marijuana program according to Arizona law. It has been our intent from the initiation of the program to uphold the will of the voters and maintain a medical program. Every year we accept petitions to add debilitating conditions and evaluate them using scientific evidence to determine the efficacy and effects of marijuana with the primary goal of keeping Arizona patients safe.”
The hearing is supposed to wrap up on Wednesday. Then the judge has 20 days to make a decision.
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