Rising concerns over Arizona Court of Appeals ruling on cannabis extracts

Medical marijuana patients and their families are concerned about a recent ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The ruling says individuals can be arrested for possession of cannabis extracts, as the products are not defined in Arizona's voter-approved medical marijuana law.

That has many people worried about prosecution, and the treatments they've used for pain and suffering.

"With Marijuana and especially the edibles, you're able to reduce the pain on a grand scale," said Marine Corps veteran Deb Estrada. "Pain;s not fun."

Estrada joined dozens at the State Capitol Tuesday for a "Cannabis Freedom Rally", held in response to the recent court ruling.. Estrada said after she got out of the military, she began opioid treatments, but her life changes for the better with medical marijuana.

"I was on all this dope, I couldn't think for myself," said Estrada. "When I got off of all the pharmaceuticals, my life changed, and after about a yea,r I talked myself into going to get a card."

Estrada's story is not the only one. Others, like Yazy Rad, are also concerns.

"Concentrate is the only way I can get my medicine, because if I do not, then I can lose weight and go back in the hospital," said Yazy. She is blind, suffers from Cerebral Palsy, and suffered from debilitating nausea after a surgical procedure.

For three years, Yazy has relied on her mother, Parisa Rad, to legally give her cannabis oil infused medicine as part of a daily regimen. Her symptoms were alleviated with the treatment.

"My daughter couldn't eat or do anything independently before cannabis, she was bed ridden," said Parisa.

That treatment, however, is in limbo now because of the ruling from the Court of Appeals. Parisa said smoking anything other than a vape pen is not an option.

"I've been going to meetings and trying to figure, listening to legal advice, and figuring out what this means for our family, and it's all terrifying," said Parisa.

Michelle Dumay, whose 11-year-old daughter suffers from seizures, relies on similar cannabis extracts.

"Before the cannabis, she was having anywhere from six to 10 seizure events a day," said Dumay. "Now, we are roughly about one a week."

Parisa linked up with 17 other families to file a lawsuit against the state over the ruling. In the meantime, she'll most likely be bringing Yazy out of state to avoid breaking the law.

"We're looking at, unfortunately, separating our family temporarily," said Parisa. "I have put myself out in the public eye. I have another child. I don't want to do something where I can end up in prison for just giving my daughter medicine."

In the interim, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office says they're going to take a "wait and see" approach with the lawsuit. It's possible a stay is granted and another court battle plays out, leaving families free to still use the extracts.