Monday, May 2, 2011
Arizona Medical Marijuana & HIPAA laws
The Arizona medical marijuana law was written as just that, a medical law. This throws an interesting curve ball at law enforcement though. There are HIPAA privacy laws. As it currently stands, a person's medical marijuana card will list a state number to register the user as legally allowed to possess and consume marijuana. However when a police officer is given the card, the only way they have to verify that particular number is registered to that person, or anyone for that matter, is to call in the state agency who licenses them. However, medical marijuana is medical, it is a medical prescription law enforcement would be inquiring about, so under HIPAA privacy laws the state, nor dispensary, nor doctor can reveal any medical information to officers if they called. The result is, as the law currently stands, when a law enforcement official stops someone that has marijuana and a medical marijuana card the police have absolutely no way to prove whether or not that person really has a valid medical marijuana card issued to them.
Posted by Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.