Arizona Medical-Marijuana Card Database Used Frequently by Cops and Employers
A database of everyone who has an Arizona medical-marijuana card is being well-used by employers and law enforcement officials, a report of database users shows.
The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act requires the state Department of Health Services to set up and maintain the computer list (see below) of registered patients and caregivers. Its primary use is to ensure that patients don't get arrested if caught with pot by police.
As of last week, 2,646 access accounts have been created for people to check on the validity of medical-marijuana cards. Police departments, sheriff's offices, and even federal outfits like the Border Patrol and ATF are among the public safety shops that have set up accounts. The DEA only has one account that it hasn't yet used.
No "fishing" is allowed. The database, which now contains info on about 40,000 patients and caregivers, can't be searched by inputting names or addresses. Only a registration card number can be submitted for verification.
In other words, cops can't sign up for access to the database, then randomly check to see if Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery or anyone else is a patient. But if Montgomery gets stopped with a couple ounces of Blackberry Kush and provides a card number, police can then verify whether or not he's okay under state law to possess marijuana.
It's up to each police agency whether to obtain access privileges for individual officers, or obtain just a few access accounts that can then be used by supervisors or dispatchers, who would get the card numbers relayed to them by officers on the street. Most agencies just have a few accounts, but some have a lot more. Of the 2,646 total accounts, 851 are from a single police agency -- Phoenix police.
- Read the entire article at Phoenix New Times.