MMJ, Meet Your New Nemesis - Amanda Reeve

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Medical marijuana has a lot of enemies in Arizona — the close vote on the law's passage in 2010 and the ensuing legal battles are evidence enough of that — but a legislator from a suburban legislative district north of Phoenix might be emerging as a particularly wrongheaded foe.

State Rep. Amanda Reeve, who serves at the behest of the residents of heavily Republican LD 6 at the northern edge of Phoenix, recently introduced two bills that would restrict the use of MMJ.

House Bill 2349 was in the news quite a bit. It would forbid possession or use of medical marijuana on school campuses - including colleges. That bill passed the House Education Committee on Feb. 2.

The other bill got less attention, because it was wiped off the face of the Earth with a strike everything amendment, a tool by which legislators in Arizona change the contents of introduced bills, often to something entirely unrelated to the original bill. Reeve's HB 2350 would have made it illegal to charge medical marijuana patients a membership or service fee to be eligible for an MMJ transfer. It would have made health centers like Tumbleweeds in Tucson illegal. The strike everything amendment changed HB 2350 into a bill about public works project notifications. Bullet dodged, for now.

But I would urge Amanda to leave well enough alone. I know she has a lot of leadership awards and accolades and various types of recognition of excellence from her peers. Those are all listed on her website in a seeming bid for our respect. I'll respect that, Amanda, as soon as you respect your pledge on the same website to strive for "economic development and sustainability" and to "reduce burdensome government regulations." Stifling medical marijuana does neither. In fact, Reeves' proposals seem an awful lot like burdensome government regulation to me, and she is actively trying to stifle legitimate economic development that would be highly sustainable.

Call her office at (602) 926-3014 or email her at areeve@azleg.gov, and tell her what you think.

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