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

    • Marijuana makes mother nature cry: report June 27, 2015
      06/26/15 05:17 PM facebook twitter 1 save share group 37 By Tony Dokoupil     If you consume cannabis this weekend, you might also be killing fish, clear-cutting forest, and poisoning some cute-faced and endangered members of the weasel family. That’s one takeaway from new report in the journal BioScience, which details the water-guzzling, land-destroying, [ […]
    • Marijuana and Your Job: What You Need to Know June 27, 2015
      Carolyn Buppert, MSN, JD Disclosures June 26, 2015   To submit a legal/professional nursing question for future consideration, write to the editor at (Include "Ask the Expert" in subject line.) Question Can I be fired for using marijuana at home or for using recreational marijuana on my day off, when recreational use is legal […] […]
    • Rand Paul set to raise money from marijuana industry June 27, 2015
      By Sam Youngman syoungman@herald-leader.comJune 26, 2015 Updated 2 hours ago U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is looking for big green from the marijuana industry. Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception next week at the National Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in De […]
    • 400-plus People Running for U.S. President June 26, 2015
              Friday, June 26, 2015 :: Staff infoZine By Quentin Misiag – Thirteen Republicans. Four Democrats. Washington, DC – infoZine – Scripps Howard Foundation Wire – A growing list of contenders have tossed their hats in the political ring for the 2016 race to the White House. But the official tally spans […]
    • THE PROTECTION OF COMMERCE IN THE FORM OF PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX June 26, 2015…/…/icd-9-code-lookup.aspx…& ICD-9 Code Lookup Find an ICD-9 Code by searching on keyword(s). Like Comment Share Sheree Krider ICD-9 Code ICD-9 Code Description 304.30 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE UNSPECIFIED USE 304.31 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE CONTINUOUS USE 304.32 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE EPISODIC USE 304.33 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE IN […]
    • Marijuana addiction drug research gets $3 million grant as Obama encourages legalization June 26, 2015
      By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times – Thursday, June 25, 2015     The National Institutes of Health is dedicating $3 million to fast-track the development of drugs to treat marijuana addiction — an estimated 4.2 million Americans are hooked on cannabis — even as the president encourages its legalization and more states look […]
    • Texans poll overwhelmingly in favor of reduced pot penalties June 26, 2015
      Originally posted on Texas Cannabis Report:A scene from earlier this year in Fort Worth as thousands marched through downtown in support of changing marijuana laws in Texas. Fresh off of a hot legislative session featuring 11 bills pertaining to marijuana, a new poll shows that Texans are overwhelmingly in support of reducing the penalty…
    • Texas sets new record for largest marijuana growing operation June 26, 2015
      Originally posted on Texas Cannabis Report:A marijuana grow room at a dispensary in Colorado. After authorities in east Texas were alerted by a hunter to a field containing just over 100,000 marijuana plants last year, setting an all time record for a marijuana growing operation in the state, this year the record has been…
    • DJ Gary Ganja Hopes To Hit New High With ‘Music For Stoners’ June 26, 2015
      Originally posted on CBS Denver:DENVER (CBS4)– It claims to be the first radio station of its kind in the United States and its getting a lot of different listeners. “We’re like 420 friendly, we play music for stoners, we have marijuana comedy, this summer we’re giving away trips to Amsterdam and Jamaica,” Gary Ganja…
    • A pie made of coca leaves awaits the Pope when he visits Bolivia June 25, 2015
      Coca planters will be giving Pope Francis a pie and other goods made out of coca leaves, when he arrives next July for an official visit to Bolivia. The gifts will be delivered during the scheduled meeting of Francis wish social movements’ organization in Santa Cruz, according to the organizers.   Leonardo Loza, vice-president of […]
    • Man ‘hides stash of marijuana in Mary Jane candy wrappers’ but pot is detected inside checked bag by TSA at Newark airport June 25, 2015
      Originally posted on wchildblog:From Mail Online, Jun 2015 By MYRIAH TOWNER Gregory Murphy, 49, of Toms River, New Jersey made it past security and was waiting to board his flight when he was confronted by Port Authority police after TSA found the drugs, pictured above, in his checked bag A New Jersey man was…
    • Who Is A ‘Terrorist’? June 25, 2015
      Originally posted on wchildblog:Source:, by Justin Raimondo The recent attack on a predominantly African-American church by a murderous racist has provoked a passionate debate about who is – and is not – a “terrorist.” According to FBI director James Comey, the perpetrator of the Charleston massacre – in which nine people were killed…
    • 45th Annual Smoke-In July 4, 2015 Washington, CO June 25, 2015
      Originally posted on Deadheads United™:Marijuana Activist Call To Action 45th Anniversary Smoke-In Saturday July 4th, 2015, Washington DC “Smoke-in Alumni Reunite!”   “This demonstration, held on the day that commemorates 45 consecutive years of Smoke-In history in Washington DC, is an opportune moment to acknowledge the era of change created by Marijuana Ac […]
    • Marijuana is medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association concludes June 25, 2015
      Posted on June 23, 2015 at 10:06 am by David Downs in featured, Health, Science Marijuana is one hundred percent a form of medicine, researchers conclude in a bombshell series of reports released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cannabis — which has been used medicinally for thousands of years — reduces […]
    • Drug Tests Don’t Make Sense, So Why Are Employers Still Using Them? June 24, 2015
            The U.S. is experiencing a marijuana revolution. Four states, as well as Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana by popular vote. There are now 23 states with medical marijuana laws. Much of this has happened in the past decade. Despite this, and the overwhelming wealth of knowledge related to the fact that marijuana […]
    • Campbell marijuana lab suspects jailed June 24, 2015
      Originally posted on[anvplayer video=”531460″ /] CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – Three people arrested Monday after Campbell police found a marijuana growing operation in the basement of 540 Penhale Ave. are being held at the Mahoning County Jail. Richard Holloway, 19, is being held on $37,500 bond and is facing felony charges of cultivation…
    • Medication may stop drug and alcohol addiction June 24, 2015
      Originally posted on Engineering Evil:Public Release: 23-Jun-2015 University of Texas at Austin Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective […]
    • Medical marijuana ‘edibles’ mostly mislabeled, study shows June 24, 2015
      Originally posted on Engineering Evil:Public Release: 23-Jun-2015 “ Laboratory testing showed 44 products (59 percent) had detectible levels of CBD, but the average ratio of THC to CBD was 36-to-1” Review of small sample of dispensary products suggests buyers at risk of overdosing or being cheated Johns Hopkins Medicine In a proof-of-concept study, a…
    • Know Your Constitution June 24, 2015
          When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect […]
    • ‘Embarrassingly Low’ Patient Count in Illinois a Big Concern for MMJ Businesses June 23, 2015
      By John Schroyer Scores of dispensaries are hoping to open in Illinois later this year, but they might face an immense challenge right out of the gate: a lack of customers. Illinois has approved just 2,500 patients for MMJ cards since opening the registry nearly nine months ago, which one attorney with ties to the […]
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 18,859 other followers

  • Blog Stats

    • 7,872 hits

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,859 other followers

%d bloggers like this: