On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee failed to pass HB2258, after lobbyists for the marijuana industry convinced Democrat lawmakers that kids should not learn about the potential health risks associated with drugs and alcohol. Rep. Bob Thorpe’s bill had the support of parents, but the 4-4 vote fell along party lines.
Thorpe had offered the bill due to concerns based on information from organizations like the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, that there can be negative health effects from smoking and ingesting marijuana.
During the debate on the bill, one lobbyist recognized those concerns as valid, and went so far as to say that he would not want his own children to be put at risk. However, the lobbyist’s feelings about his own children did not stop him from opposing education for other K-12 students in Arizona.
Thorpe’s bill required twenty-three cents of each dollar in the tobacco tax and health care fund to be deposited in the health education account for programs for the prevention and reduction of tobacco and marijuana use.
The bill required the Arizona Department of Health Services to evaluate the programs and submit a written report of its findings once every two years to the governor.