Dec 11, 2012 8:02 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Medical marijuana cardholders can fill prescriptions in Tucson starting today

TUCSON - Medical marijuana patients in Tucson are finally able to fill their prescriptions at Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies, the area's first dispensary located near Broadway and Kolb.

A steady flow of people coming in and out of the east side dispensary signaled a milestone for an effort to bring legalized medical marijuana to Arizona nearly three years ago.

John Calonge is a cancer patient, one of thousands of people in Southern Arizona who are turning to medical marijuana to help ease the pain.

"I'm in pain in my back, my lower back, my arms, my knees, my legs..." Calonge told News 4 Tucson after booking an appointment with the dispensary.

"Inside it looks real professioinal. Real clean. They've got a doctor in there, security guard out front...nobody can go in without an I.D.," Calonge said.

A steady stream of patients went into the dispensary today to schedule appointments while other went to pick up their presciptions. One patient showed News 4 Tucson the orange prescription bottle with medical marijuana inside, fashioned inside a paper bag marked as a prescription item.

Jon Gettel, who made his appointment today said it was an exciting day as Gettel showed up to check out the pot shop for himself.

"Patients are able to come and get a safe secure supply of medicine for their serious conditions," Gettel said.

However, Gettel said the top shelf marijuana on display runs around $500 per ounce, and with prices that steep, he's concerned that might turn patients away.

"I worry that they won't be able to keep the prices low enough for patients to afford," Gettel said.

But that won't stop John Calonge as he looks forward to picking up his prescription and feeling better.

"So I've got an appointment for next week and I'll go from there," Calonge said.

The owners of the dispensary told News 4 Tucson that they are booked with appointments for the next couple of weeks as they continue to work out the kinks in their system.


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