Stop the Black Market in Arizona's Medical Marijuana Program

This is an important point in the rule making process for medical marijuana in Arizona. I support the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, but I don't want to see black-market profiteers and Mexican Drug Cartels controlling medical marijuana like they do in California.

Many black-market profiteers will tell you that patients need the expensive indoor marijuana. Truth is millions of dollars worth of marijuana is grown outdoors in California and sold to medical marijuana patients at dispensaries.

In 2010 California's CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) reported seizing 4,320,314 plants, slightly less than last year's all-time record of 4,463,917. In 2008 CAMP seized 2.9 million plants, 70 percent were on public land, and many of these are believed to be Mexican nationals working for drug cartels back home.

It's very important that the non-profit portion of the Arizona's medical marijuana program be enforced. CAMP estimates the wholesale value of the destroyed crop at $17.2 billion. This works out to $4,000 per plant, or over 1 lb per plant. At this rate, the total amount of marijuana destroyed by CAMP works out to over four times the estimated consumption of the entire state of California.

There is no question Mexican Drug Cartels supply much of the marijuana sold by non-profit dispensaries in California. Only by keeping the price of medical marijuana in Arizona affordable to patients and grown by not-for-profit dispensaries, can we prevent black-market profiteers and Mexican Drug Cartels from profiting from medical marijuana in Arizona.