Marijuana

Arizonans who have medical marijuana cards are legally entitled to buy and use gummy bears, candies, extracts, tinctures and resins of the plant, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled this morning.

In a unanimous decision, the justices rejected arguments that the 2010 law that legalized the drug for medical purposes allows patients to use only the leaves and flowers. Justice Robert Brutinel, writing for the court, pointed out that the law defines "marijuana'' as "all parts of the plant.''

"The word 'all, one of the most comprehensive words in the English language, means exactly that,'' he said.

Brutinel also listed some of the ailments for which a doctor may recommend marijuana, including cancer, glaucoma, Crohn's disease and relief from nausea and vomiting caused as side effects from other drugs.

"It is implausible that voters intended to allow patients with these conditions to use marijuana only if they could consume it in dried-leaf/flower form,'' Brutinel wrote.

"Such an interpretation would preclude the use of marijuana as an option for those for whom smoking or consuming those parts of the marijuana plants would be ineffective or impossible,'' he continued. "Consistent with voter intent, our interpretation enables patients to use medical marijuana to treat their debilitating medical conditions, in whatever form best suits them, so long as they do not possess more than the allowable amount.''

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