|The Weed Blog|
An Arizona House panel voted on Wednesday to ban medical marijuana use and possession on all college and university campuses, setting the stage for a lawsuit.
The unanimous vote by members of the House Committee on Higher Education came after Rep. Amanda Reeve (R-Phoenix) said the schools fear losing both direct federal aid and federally backed student loans if they allow faculty and students to possess medicinal cannabis, reports Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services.
The move was backed by Kristen Boilini, who lobbies for several community colleges. She said the law will reinforce policies the schools already have in place.
Joe Yuhas, spokesman for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, did not attend the hearing. He told Capitol Media Services he believes his opposition would be meaningless.
“The Legislature is not friendly territory for us,” Yuhas said. Unless Reeve and her supporters back off, Yuhas’s organization and others involving in passing the 2010 medical marijuana initiative will instead make their arguments in court.
Arizona’s medical marijuana law allows adults with a doctor’s recommendation to possess and use marijuana. Cannabis isn’t allowed on public school campuses and its use is banned in public places.
But HB 2349 would add the campuses of all colleges and universities to the list.
Yuhas said Reeve cannot do that.
A 1998 constitutional amendment, approved after legislators voided a 1996 medical marijuana law approved by voters, specifically bars lawmakers from altering any voter-approved initiative.
The only exception is when a change furthers the underlying purpose of the original voter-approved measure. Yuhas said denying marijuana to college students who need it does not fit the definition of “furthering” anything.
Reeve admitted later that she didn’t reach out to Yuhas, or in fact, to anyone else, to try and recraft the measure in a way to avoid litigation or to make some scant attempt to, you know, actually help medical marijuana patients.
“I don’t know what I would negotiate with them on,” the bull-headed Reeve admitted. She claimed federal laws requiring campuses to be “free of illegal drugs” or risk loss of federal funding is “pretty clear cut about what needs to be done.” Sounds a lot like your typical asshole Drug Warrior queen to me.
Reeve claimed she was hoping that eventual enactment of her cruel, idiotic bill would not land the state in court fighting medical marijuana patients and advocates.
“But they’re going to do what they need to do,” she said haughtily.
Reeve’s head-up-the-ass legislation needs approval by the full state House before going to the state Senate.