Arizona Veterans Back off Senator’s Recall

Arizona Central reveals that a veterans group in support of medical marijuana research has withdrawn their recall initiative against Senator Kimberly Yee, the politician blocking a bill that could provide funding for research into marijuana for PTSD. After mounting public pressure, Yee has agreed to a compromise and will meet with members of the medical marijuana community to hear their input. "It is a clear victory for our side," explains Marc Victor of the Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee. "Senator Yee will now support medical marijuana research. More importantly, she has moved from an enemy of medical marijuana to at least a moderate supporter."

Originally appearing here.

An Arizona veterans group that launched a recall effort last week against Republican state Sen. Kimberly Yee is filing papers Wednesday to end the recall.

The veterans had targeted Yee after she blocked consideration of funding for a University of Arizona study of medical marijuana's effects on treating PTSD in veterans.

Marc Victor, chairman of the Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee, which was leading the recall, told me Wednesday that he was filing papers with the secretary of state to terminate the recall after negotiating a compromise with Yee and her attorney.

In an e-mail to recall supporters Tuesday night, Victor said of the compromise:

"Although it isn't as good as I would want, it is a clear victory for our side. Senator Yee will now support MMJ research. More importantly, she has moved from an enemy of medical marijuana to at least a moderate supporter. Additionally, she has agreed to meet with Andrew Myers, who did a great job on this project, and others in the MMJ community to discuss the issues going forward including legislation for next term. I think this recall made a big statement, got lots of attention, and served notice that the MMJ community can no longer be ignored. In that regard, it was a huge victory for the big picture which is total legalization of marijuana. A free society requires nothing less.
Yee's attorney, Michael Liburdi, confirmed Wednesday that a compromise had been reached. He said the senator would be issuing a statement after papers are filed ending the recall."

The senator had said in a statement last week:

"Because of my concerns about limited state funds, I received assurances from those supporting such research that funds would come from the federal government or private donations and that no state money would be used. Today, they have turned their story around and have broken their promise. My voting record shows I support veterans and research. This is about how we should use limited state resources and be wise stewards of our taxpayer dollars.

As policymakers, we have to ask if this takes us down the path of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona. The bill I proposed this year, SB 1389, using those same funds would educate our youth about the dangers of recreational marijuana and pay for public service announcements to prevent drug abuse."
I'll be following up today with Dr. Sue Sisley, a University of Arizona researcher, who was our guest this past weekend on "Sunday Square Off" to talk about her efforts to keep medical marijuana research funded.