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Arizona voters approve medical marijuana law

Arizona voters approved Proposition 203 [text, PDF], authorizing the possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of medical marijuana [JURIST news archive], according to results released by the Arizona Secretary of State Saturday. The measure, voted on during the midterm elections earlier this month, was too close to call on election night [JURIST report] and remained so until all votes were counted Saturday, resulting in a final tally of 50.13 to 49.87 percent [results]. Proposition 203, which was opposed by most state officials [AP report], will allow possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana, or up to 12 cannabis plants, for individuals with any of a set list of medical conditions including cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and AIDS who have gotten a recommendation from their physician and have registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Arizona is the fifteenth state to legalize medical marijuana.

In addition to Arizona, voters in California, South Dakota and Oregon also voted on a range of marijuana-based propositions during the midterm elections, all of which were rejected. In California, Proposition 19 [text, PDF], which was defeated by a 54-46 margin, would have legalized the sale and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the growth of cannabis plants for personal consumption. In South Dakota, Initiated Measure 13 [text, DOC], which was defeated by a 63-37 margin, would have authorized the cultivation and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by individuals with certain debilitating diseases who register with the state Department of Health. In Oregon, voters rejected Ballot Measure 74 [text] by a 57-43 margin. That measure would have expanded the state's existing medical marijuana provisions to allow for private dispensaries.

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