In just six weeks, Arizonans will vote on Prop 203: an initiative that will bring medical marijuana to Arizona. But not if the Arizona Cardinals have anything to do with it. The NFL football team donated $10,000 of the team’s money last week to opponents of Prop 203 and medical marijuana in Arizona. To be clear: it’s not the owner’s money, or the money of people associated with the team. The team’s president, Michael Bidwill, donated $10,000 of the Cardinals’ money to “Keep AZ Drug Free.”
The Arizona Cardinals are opposing Proposition 203 which could make medical marijuana legal in the state and let chronically ill or severe pain patients buy small amounts of pot from state licensed clinics with a doctor’s approval.
The Cardinals gave $10,000 to Keep AZ Drug Free today, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.
That group opposes 203 saying it could lead to more illegal drug use.
Cardinals team President Michael Bidwill is listed by the anti-203 group as one of the main Valley leaders opposed to medical marijuana legalization. USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo also is part of the Keep AZ Drug Free group’s efforts.
Who are the Arizona Cardinals fighting with their contribution? Meet Heather Torgerson, co-chair of Yes on Prop 203. She’s a 28-year-old brain cancer survivor whose best relief from pain is medical marijuana.
Heather Torgerson wrote a college paper against the use of medical marijuana. Today, however, she says what once seemed so wrong then is the reason she’s survived brain cancer.
She almost had to stop treatment after chemotherapy and radiation left her nauseated and fatigued. When prescriptions and homeopathic remedies didn’t reverse her weight loss, she turned to marijuana.
Torgerson said her appetite returned within five minutes.
“I owe my life to it,” she said.
As chair of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, Torgerson says many Arizonans would benefit if voters approve Proposition 203, a ballot measure that would legalize the medical use of marijuana.
With this contribution, the Arizona Cardinals and team President Michael Bidwill have sided against Arizona’s seriously ill, using money from loyal fans to get between patients like Heather and their doctors.
It’s especially ironic considering the team has no problem serving alcohol by the barrel to fans at each home game. Yet team president Michael Bidwell decided to use the Cardinals’ money from fans – not his own – to oppose medical marijuana. It’s unfair to Cardinals fans and, most importantly, it’s unfair to Arizona patients.
Prop 203 is up in the polls, and Arizonans have already passed medical marijuana in the state twice. Voters approved medical marijuana ballot initiatives in 1996 and in 1998, but both times the state legislature blocked the will of the people. There is no sign that the state legislature would again block medical marijuana if Prop 203 passes in November, but we can’t let our guard down.
If we’re going to bring medical marijuana to Arizona and help patients like Heather, we need to fight back against the Cardinals’ attacks on cancer patients and medical marijuana. Click here to Just Say Now’s petition condemning the Cardinals’ contribution.