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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dr. Burns
E-mail:   drburns@evaluationtoday.com

Arizona Medical Marijuana Physicians Association Issues Call to Action

Scottsdale, AZ. Confusion over the conflict between Arizona's medical marijuana law and federal law which outlaws cultivation, sale or use of marijuana runs rampant. Lawsuits have been filed. Growers and sellers have been warned of the potential for prosecution. Meanwhile, patients who can benefit from the medication are caught in the middle. Committed to their patients' wellbeing, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Physicians Association is calling on patients and the general public to place pressure for legalization where it belongs - Washington D.C.

"At the end of the day," commented Association President and Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center Medical Director Dr. Elaine M. Burns, "the real problem lies at the federal level where marijuana has long been misclassified as a Schedule I drug. Those who support medical marijuana must make their voices heard in Washington and ask that marijuana be removed from a classification that includes drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, all drugs that are not only highly addictive but that also have no medical use. As long as marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, the medical marijuana community will continue to have problems."

According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are substances with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. But the medical uses of marijuana are extensive and include efficacy for such debilitating conditions as glaucoma, cancer, AIDS, and chronic pain. The medication's medical uses have been proven time and again and, in fact, the two largest physician groups in the country - the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians - have each called on the federal government to review that classification. It is time for the drug to be reclassified.

In addition to encouraging individuals to exert political pressure, Dr. Burns also reminds patients that the state is still issuing cards for medical use of marijuana. "The medical marijuana community has been operating without dispensaries since April," she said. "Doctors have been guiding patients through the certification process and the state is still accepting applications for certification and issuing cards. There are no indications that that can be expected to change."

"There is power in numbers," said Dr. Burns. "And knowledge is power. But people must make themselves heard." She encouraged individuals to begin by educating themselves via the Americans for Safe Access (www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org), a national organization that has spearheaded a national call to action on the issue of reclassifying marijuana. Dr. Burns further recommended that individuals contact their congressional representatives and the country's leaders to make their position on the issue known.

Founded in April, 2011, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Physicians Association's primary mission is to provide self-regulation among providers who are committed to assuring the highest standards within the state's new and growing medical marijuana community. The Association was founded to protect the integrity of the system by establishing best practices and procedures that prescribing doctors can follow to assure they are following state-mandated rules. The Association is open to Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H) or DO(H)], and Naturopathic [MD(N) or NMD] physicians who have not only been mandated by the state to certify patients for medical marijuana, but who have also demonstrated a commitment to establishing practices dedicated to building long-term relationships with their patients.

For further information about the Arizona Medical Marijuana Physician's Association, contact Dr. Elaine Burns at 480-656-2119, drburns@EvaluationToday.com.

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