Update: Arizona Voters Narrowly Approve Medical Marijuana Initiative
By a margin of just 4,341 votes, Arizona voters approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use for people with certain chronic or debilitating conditions. The measure started out losing by about 7,200 votes on Election Day, but the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days, as provisional and mail-in ballots were counted.
Under Proposition 203, licensed physicians could recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and Alzheimer's disease. Patients would then be required to register for identification cards with the state health department. They can receive up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from dispensaries or cultivate up to 12 plants if they live 25 miles or more from a dispensary.
Following passage in Arizona, 15 states plus Washington, D.C. now permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.