A measure that would have prevented harmful chemicals from being used in medical marijuana in Arizona was blocked by Democrats in the Senate Thursday.
Senator Sonny Borrelli is the sponsor of SB 1137 (medical marijuana: prohibited chemicals: appropriation). His bill establishes marijuana as an agricultural commodity and provides $2 million for the Department of Agriculture to inspect and test marijuana crops, to make sure they don't contain dangerous pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
"Right now, Arizonans who are turning to medical marijuana to relieve pain or other symptoms have no idea what chemicals are being used on the plant," says Sen. Borrelli, the Senate Majority Whip. "Marijuana is a plant grown in the ground, and the Department of Agriculture has the expertise to inspect and test marijuana before it is sent to a dispensary. SB 1137 would save lives."
The bill sailed through two Senate committees, and in the final vote on the Senate floor, it received support from every Republican. But because SB 1137 deals with a voter-protected measure, it requires three-fourths support, or 23 votes in the Senate. Not a single Democrat supported the safety bill.
"I'm really at a loss at why the Minority would band together to stop this safety measure. Don't medical marijuana patients want to know the product they're ingesting is safe?", asked Sen. Borrelli.