Digital Card Fix Is In The Works

In the age of computers, everything is constantly changing. It’s nice to have a few things remain the old-fashioned way, like medical marijuana patient’s cards.

The way in which patients receive their identification cards switched on December 1, 2019, from physical cards to electronic license or digital.

Now cards are emailed in a digital PDF file. Some certification doctors are charging to print and laminate cards. Those patients who aren’t printing physical cards are having to show their ID or driver’s license, along with the PDF on their phone, when going to some dispensaries. With other dispensaries its business as usual and there is not much change.

There are a few bonuses of the electronic licenses, but who wants to rely on technology for medical aid and legal protection.

PROS

  • Use or your MMJ card benefits right away, no need to wait on the mail
  • Do not have to wait weeks for your cards replacement, (if lost or damaged)

CONS

  • Giving your physical phone to law enforcement if pulled over.
  • Phone dying while in line at a dispensary
  • Phone Dying at an event.
  • Phone Dying when you need to provide law enforcement with a copy of your card.

 The biggest issue against the new digital card is that it poses a threat against all medical cannabis patients 4th amendment U.S. constitutional right, against unlawful search and seizure when contact with law enforcement is made.

This swift from physical to electronic cards came as a result of Senate Bill 1494. SB1494 implemented the States Medical Marijuana Testing Program when Governor Doug Ducey signed it into law on June 7, 2019. As a result, section (E) of ARS§ 36-2804.06 was added to in the original Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
So that ARS§ 36-2804.06 currently states:

E. On or before December 1, 2019, the department shall implement an electronic registry card program for registry identification cards, registration certificates, certificates and renewals. The electronic license program shall allow for the electronic verification and delivery of registry identification cards, registration certificates, certificates and renewals.

A revolve for this was filed on Monday February 10th, 2020, by a representative from Tucson Arizona, Pam Powers Hannley. House Bill- 2840 would propose to amend the newly added section(E) to read:

 ARS§ 36-2804.06.E. On or before December 1, 2019, the department shall implement an electronic registry card program for registry identification cards,  registration certificates, certificates and renewals. The electronic license program shall allow for the electronic verification and delivery of registry identification cards, registration certificates, certificates and renewals. A CARDHOLDER MAY CHOOSE TO HAVE EITHER AN ELECTRONIC OR A TANGIBLE REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD.

Until then if you do have a digital card keep the PDF in a folder alone with nothing else. This will make sure that if you do have police contact that they cannot go scrolling other files in your phone. Try not to hand your phone to police instead ask nicely if you can pull up the PDF on your phone and show the officer without relinquishing control of the device. If your phone does end up in laws grasp, state that they only have your permission to view the PDF file and that any further searching of other files or content of your phone is against your 4th amendment right.

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Allison Stein