PHOENIX - A pro-marijuana group is trying to recall Arizona Sen. Kimberly Yee after she refused to hear a bill that would have helped fund research into the effects of medical marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee filed to recall Yee, R-Phoenix, on Friday. The group has until August 2 to turn in 18,297 signatures.
Yee refused to hear House Bill 2333 in the Senate Committee on Education, which she chairs. The bill would have allowed a state fund for medical marijuana research to pay for some of the research into marijuana as a treatment for military veterans with PTSD. The bill had bipartisan support when the Arizona House of Representatives approved it March 10.
The Arizona fund is not part of the general budget and has $7.5 million from fees that come from medical marijuana users.
"They aren't taxpayer dollars, and the idea that one lawmaker can stand in the way of progress that can save lives to me is incomprehensible," said Kathy Inman, state director for the Arizona chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Yee said no state money should be used for the research.
"It is unfortunate that the supporters of HB 2333 have decided to distort the intent of the bill and the reason I did not hear this bill in the Senate Education Committee. I am not opposed to university research to assist veterans. In fact, last year I was the lead sponsor of the legislation that even allowed for such research to occur at the University of Arizona, working with veterans and researchers around the table to make sure that bill passed," Yee said in a statement.