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Why get an MMJ Card?

Dear Mama, Why do I bother to get an MMJ card if everything I’m hearing about getting arrested with concentrates is true? It makes no sense to me to spend that kind of money every single year if I am still gonna get nailed by cops for having stuff I bought at the dispensary!? About to give up…

Dear About to give up, DON’T DO IT! Look, it is a big mess here right now, but the reality is that you are at a much bigger risk by not having a card. There is a defense fund starting for this particular issue and without your card and “legal” dispensary purchase you are not eligible for help from the dispensary defense fund.

The Court of appeals interpretation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) in Yavapai County has caused a lot of uproar, and rightly so. It essentially decided that only the flower is legal, but there are many great minds, and probably even a few average minds, attempting all sorts of legal maneuvers to work this out as we worry. Do your research, including talking to your dispensary about how they intend to keep you safe. Put your purchases in your trunk when you leave the shop and do not carry it with you when you are out and about.

Keep in mind that this interpretation is also basically retroactive. So, according to the courts, we have all been breaking the law and didn’t know it. That includes the dispensaries licensed to make the stuff. They are nervous too. They are equally risking arrest by the continued creation of concentrates edibles and vapes. Maricopa County states they are taking a “wait and see” approach. Yavapai and Navajo County seems ready to arrest, so if you live in one of the two that are higher risk, adjust your activities accordingly. As for getting your card, I repeat, DO NOT LET IT GO NOW. This is not the time to take additional risks unless you plan to completely quit using cannabis entirely. You need the protections of the card now, especially when it seems like it’s unsafe to be a marijuana patient. Without it, you are on your own in the justice system and that’s not a place you want to be.

Be safe out there!


For more letters to Mama, click here.

Laura Mastropietro

Laura Mastropietro, former cannabis co-op grower and patient advocate, consultant, Edible Chef for two edible lines, featured in ‘Cannabis Saved my Life’ by Elizabeth Limbach, currently curates a learning hub called, stays active in the cannabis community while running a restaurant and commercial bakery in beautiful Sedona Arizona. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, with a full beautiful life and toss in a life altering disease, cannabis is the magic that helps her keep it all going. Have a cannabis question? Send it to Dear Mama at


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