9 On Your Side Health Watch

Cannabis Club starts in Tucson, patients share marijuana

For a small donation patients share their medical marijuana

CREATED Jul 18, 2011

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  • Video by kgun9.com

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  • A marijuana club, also known as a Compassion Club, has started in midtown Tucson

  • Members can donate home-grown medical marijuana to one another

  • Dave, a Compassion Club volunteer, explains to KGUN9 how the club operates

Reporter: Ileana Diaz
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a new kind of club in town where all members must hold medical marijuana cards to get in. The details of what goes on inside aren't clear, but what we do know is that these pot or compassion clubs share marijuana.

"You donate to us and we'll donate a free gift," said David, a volunteer at the Arizona Compassion Club.
"Is that free gift marijuana?" asked KGUN9'S Ileana Diaz.
"It could be anything services there are ways to assist you in finding medication," said David.
Members make a donation to get in then meet other cardholders to share their home-grown pot. There is only one club in Tucson so far but some worry this could become a growing trend.                                                                                                                                                                  
"I don't think they are following the law the way it was originally intended. We were intending to provide medication for people that need medication not just some place to hang out and smoke pot," said Greg Rogan, a medical technician.
However, compassion or cannabis clubs are working legally. Card holders can grow and share marijuana with each other as long as they don't exceed the 2.5 ounces allowed.
"How are you regulating who is actually allowed to get marijuana and how much of that they're actually getting or is there any regulation," asked KGUN9's Ileana Diaz.
"I'm not putting any regulation on anything. I'm not doing anything like that," said David.  What club volunteers do is consult and remind members of the laws in place.
"I can't tell them what to do. I can't tell them what medication is for what," said David.
This is the main reason some worry this new club could allow users to abuse.
"If you're going to call it medication then treat it as such and dispense it from a pharmacy," said Rogan.
The Director of the State Health Department is concerned about how these clubs operate and asked the Attorney General's office to look into the legality of these cannabis clubs.