Official: ‘Recreational’ marijuana use inevitable in AZ program

Posted on September 20, 2012. Filed under: AZ |


Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Service, talks with Cronkite News Service reporters on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Andrew Gilstrap)



By Lorri Allen, Cronkite News Service

Arizona’s medical marijuana system will have stronger controls than other states, but some people will still exploit it to get the drug for recreational use, the state’s top health official said Wednesday.

“Is there a recreational component to the program? Absolutely yes. Have we done everything we could to stretch our statutory authority to keep it as medical as possible? We have done that,” Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in an interview with Cronkite News Service.

In November 2010, voters passed the Medical Marijuana Act, and dispensaries are gearing up for inspections before the system launches.

Humble campaigned against the medical marijuana proposition. But once it passed, he said it was his job to execute the will of voters.

“Obviously there’s a conflict with the Controlled Substances Act at the federal level,” Humble added. “I’m certain at some point this will end up in front of the Supreme Court.”

Humble said implementing the medical marijuana system came at a cost. For more than a year, he had to dedicate six staff members to developing rules for the new law rather than addressing what he considers more pressing public health issues.

“In medical marijuana, the payoff was not profound,” Humble said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Humble also said Arizona would benefit from establishing its own health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act. The law calls for states to set up exchanges for people lacking coverage or hand that authority to the federal government.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s office is still evaluating whether Arizona should have an exchange, but the state has accepted federal grant money to plan for one.

“I believe that it’s far better to run a state exchange than to have the feds run your exchange,” Humble said. “You’ve got the ability to make decisions directly about policy inside Arizona and how you want that exchange to work. It’s also a lot easier to integrate into the whole system.”

Humble said he is glad to see the presidential campaigns debating Medicare funding because “it’s a serious problem at the national level.”

Saying Medicare’s current fee-for-service system for reimbursing doctors creates unsustainable costs while not necessarily providing better care, he expects the system to eventually work more like managed care.

“Fee-for-service has got to be crushed because it provides a disincentive to physicians,” he said.

Humble said his department has engaged the University of Arizona to study reasons behind a slow but measurable increase in families opting against immunizing their children.

In the 2010-2011 school year, parents of 3.4 percent of children between 19 and 59 months used a religious exemption to vaccinations, while parents of 0.6 percent used an exemption for medical reasons.

Humble said there’s still enough “herd immunity” to guard against large outbreaks, though he noted a recent increase in whooping cough cases in Arizona and around the country.

“We’re still OK, but we don’t have as much margin for error as we used to have,” Humble said. “Sometimes it takes outbreaks to get motivated.”

With a study released this week predicting that 59 percent of Arizona residents will be obese by 2030, Humble called obesity “the No.1 public health issue of our time.”

He said the best response to the epidemic is creative ideas that appeal to people’s self-interest. For example, companies could offer employees incentives such as discounted health care coverage for participating in wellness programs.

“It’s not hopeless,” he said, “but it’s not going to just happen on its own, either.”


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Archives

  • RSS USMJParty

    • GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH 2014 March 21, 2014
        LINKS TO GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH SITES: Global Marijuana March and 4/20 signup Portal:Global Marijuana March FREE DANA BEAL FREE OURSELVES   Global Marijuana March App    (Sheree Krider)
    • Tailgaters Ejected Sunday for "cannabis" in logo January 31, 2014
      January 13, 2014 Denver, CO Before the Bronco game even began Sunday, Bronco fan, rapper and disabled Vet, Freddy Moore was asked to remove his bus from the Sports Authority Field tailgate parking area by the Denver Police. The agent representing the NFL said the logo display on the Winnebago was "Insulting." 1 Blunt Radio, a media firm and Cannabi […] (Sheree Krider)
    • Why we must REPEAL PROHIBITION! September 4, 2013
      Because of the danger that Hitler might be the first to have the bomb, I signed a letter to the President which had been drafted by Szilard. Had I known that the fear was not justified, I would not have participated in opening this Pandora's box, nor would Szilard. For my distrust of governments was not limited to Germany" (Albert Einstein: Histori […] (Sheree Krider)
    • Feds release "guidance for marijuana enforcement August 30, 2013
        7:08 PM 8/29/2013 Written by:  Sheree KriderDeputy Attorney General James M. Cole today released a "Memorandum for all United States Attorneys" which was intended to give "guidance regarding marijuana enforcement".It therein states that "as the Department noted in it's previous guidance", CONGRESS has determined that mari […] (Sheree Krider)
    • RE: William (Bill) Chengelis, aka Wayward Bill - US Marijuana Party Chairman responds to allegations.... August 24, 2013
      Written by:   Sheree Krider August 24, 2013 William Chengelis, aka Wayward Bill of the U.S. Marijuana Party has been dealing with allegations which have been made upon his character and ability and which in fact has brought negative attention to the cause of the U.S. Marijuana Party which is to END PROHIBITION. The first issue came up last year on a website […] (Sheree Krider)
    • RE: Roland Duby August 18, 2013
      HEALING PRAYERS FOR A FREEDOM FIGHTER!     Cher Ford-mccullough   This page is for our friend Roland A Duby. He just received his second diagnosis of an aggressive form of leukemia and doctors have told him he has about 3 months. He has saved hundreds of people with cannabis oil...many for free. He needs our help now...please join us in prayers for his heali […] (Sheree Krider)
    • Ronnie Smith has been detained in AZ June 5, 2013
      Ronnie Smith has helped many people in the past several years and now needs your help!  Please pass along the news and links even if you are unable to do anything else! Everything helps!  Listen to the audio below where he explains what happened. Case Number: J-1304-CR-201300774 Title: ST OF AZ VS SMITH Category: Criminal Court: Seligman Justice Filing Date: […] (Sheree Krider)
    • Our Own "Wayward Bill Chengelis" wins Cannabis Business Award! December 20, 2012
      Colorado’s Cannabis Industry Celebrates Its First Annual First Annual Cannabis Business Awards Holiday White Ball and Awards Ceremony Colorado’ own Clover Leaf Consulting once again sets another industry benchmark Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) December 19, 2012 Colorado’s medial marijuana industry celebrates it’s first annual Cannabis Business Awards Holiday Whit […] (Sheree Krider)
    • Americans for Cannabis November 27, 2013 (Sheree Krider)
    • UPDATE: "Wayward" Bill Chengelis is detained in D.C. June 18, 2013
        It has just come to my attention that William A. Chengelis, a.k.a., "Wayward Bill", acting President of the U.S. Marijuana Party has been detained in Washington, D.C. Apparently, per Jeffrey Kabik he was arrested following a handing out of a sampling of medibles.   "We were at the federal congress office building cafeteria. with the Silver T […] (Sheree Krider)
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 26 other followers

  • Blog Stats

    • 4,829 hits

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: