The conservative Arizona Supreme Court just sent a resounding message on medical marijuana — listen to the will of voters and let patients determine what’s best for their own health.
The ruling shouldn’t be lost in Scottsdale as the city looks at a proposal for the first and only medical marijuana dispensary between Via de Ventura and Tempe.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that cannabis extracts are legal under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act approved by voters in 2010.
All but one of the seven justices were appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey and his predecessor and fellow Republican Jan Brewer.
The ruling shot down efforts by medical marijuana prohibitionists led by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk to restrict the voter approved measure.
The state’s high court unanimously agreed to protect patients’ ability to use medical marijuana in foods, drinks, topicals and vape-pens.
Public opinion polls in Scottsdale and nationwide also show deep support for medical marijuana to help with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and terminal illnesses.
A national poll in March showed 93 percent of U.S. voters support medical marijuana with a prescription from a doctor. Just 5 percent oppose. The Quinnipiac University poll showed 86 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Independents and Democrats support medical marijuana.
That level of support should also be noted by Scottsdale planners and elected officials as they consider a plan by Sunday Goods LLC for a new dispensary downtown next to the Scottsdale Galleria.
Sunday Goods would take over a space occupied by a tattoo parlor. The site fits in with Scottsdale’s rules for medical marijuana facilities. Many of the products that would be sold at Sunday Goods would be non-marijuana health supplements similar those sold at Sprouts and Whole Foods. Sunday Goods’ design plans would have the dispensary look like an art gallery or store at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
There are only four medical marijuana dispensaries in Scottsdale, and they are all in the northern part of the city. That leaves patients to the south — some of whom have serious medical conditions — having to travel long distances.
The Arizona Supreme Court just reaffirmed the voters will and their ability to chart their own medical care.
The affirmation comes from a conservative and Republican dominated court.
Scottsdale leaders should keep the court decision in mind as they look at giving their southern city neighbors the same freedom to choose their health care paths, as it does in the north.