PHOENIX — Sometime next year, medical marijuana users could get a guarantee of sorts that the drugs they are buying are as good as they’ve been promised.
And they’ll know if it has mold, disease-causing bacteria or other adulterants.
With only three lawmakers in dissent, the Senate voted Thursday to require the state Department of Agriculture to test what’s being sold at the state-regulated dispensaries around the state. SB 1420 now goes to the House.
But two other measures dealing with medical marijuana met a different fate.
State Rep. Vince Leach, R-Tucson, was unable to get sufficient votes for HB 2066, which would have allowed state health officials to use some of the money collected from medical marijuana patients in fees for programs to create and publicize messages aimed at youth about the “dangers of marijuana.”
The idea angered state Rep. David Stringer, R-Prescott, who pointed out that voters made marijuana legal for medical use in 2010. He called such an education program “a back-door way to try to tell voters they made a mistake.”
And Rep. Pamela Powers Hanley, D-Tucson, objected to anything claiming there are dangers in marijuana “since it is a plant that never killed anybody.”
Leach had no better luck with HB 2064, which would have barred medical marijuana from being marketed or placed in any package “attractive to minors.” That includes the use of cartoons, images of minors, symbols or celebrities to market to minors, and any design that resembles another product available to children, like candy.
Leach said the idea is to prevent accidental poisonings, saying children have ingested marijuana by mistake, particularly when it looks like candy. If marijuana is a medicine, he said, it should