Arizona Democrats failed to provide enough support for SB 1420, which would have required mandatory testing of all medical marijuana and marijuana-derived products. The bill required a three-fourths majority to pass in the House, but only two Democrats supported the legislation.
The second vote taken on SB 1420 was 36-24, according to AZ Family. To pass, 45 supporting votes were needed. All but two of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs require testing of the medical marijuana being sold to patients.
Arizona Senator Sonny Borrelli said, “What they’re actually saying when they vote ‘no’ is that they want chemically-contaminated, bacteria-infected, moldy dope that they’re perpetrating as medicine.”
New legislation is expected to surface in the next legislative session.
Dr. Randall Friese, a Democratic House member, headed the opposition of the bill. Some that did show support said the bill wasn’t ready for “prime time.” Friese said, “We are one of the few states that have medical marijuana and don’t test it. I absolutely agree medical marijuana should be tested. The problem is that this bill doesn’t quite get it right. What I don’t want to do is put a bill in that doesn’t work, that causes problems with testing and then the product is backed up on the shelf and doesn’t get to the consumer.”
The Senate passed the legislation in February with a vote of 27-3, but did not garner the same support in the House. Arizona requires that any amendments to voter-approved laws meet a three-fourths majority in both houses to move forward.
Borrelli already has plans to introduce a new bill in the next legislative sessions. He voiced his displeasure with Democrats, hinting that they care more about protecting dispensaries than patients. Borrelli said, “If you’re inhaling something that’s got mold on it and you’ve got a respiratory problem, guess what, you’re going to get even sicker.”
Many dispensaries across Arizona already voluntarily test their medical marijuana, and patients are encouraged to inquire about the quality and safety of the medical marijuana being purchased and consumed.