Jan 9, 2013 11:40 AM by Ryan Haarer
TUCSON - More than 33,000 people in the state now have a medical marijuana card and a recent study done by a state commission shows some of those patients are passing a joint that should be kept to themselves.
"It's not surprising to me that young people are getting their marijuana from cardholders. It just makes it far more prevalent in the community," said Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall.
The study done by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission reveals 29 percent of students, grade 10 to 12, admit to smoking weed. An overwhelming majority say they got it from a friend or family.
"Honestly I have certain friends that are not that good. I can just ask them and they can get it in like ten minutes," said one high school student.
More than 11 percent report they got their marijuana from someone with a medical card.
"It tells me there is a significant abuse here. if you give any quantity of marijuana to a youngster who is between 15 and 18 it's mandatory prison time and it carries a penalty of three to twelve years," said LaWall.
But, medical marijuana distributors like Ken Sobel say a slight reduction of overall teenage marijuana use proves the legal market changes the accessibility.
"It's far more difficult for them to get alcohol from the store where it is legal and you have to present identification. The same thing will be true once we get rid of prohibition as it relates to medical marijuana, said Sobel of The Green Halo dispensary.
State representative John Kavanaugh filed a bill recently that would put the medical marijuana act back on the ballot in 2014 in an attempt to repeal it.