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home : latest news : latest news September 29, 2014

12/30/2013 8:59:00 AM
Prescott Valley library hosts medical marijuana Christmas tree
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
A Christmas tree decorated with replicas of marijuana leaves advocating for medical marijuana sits on the second floor of the Prescott Valley Library Saturday afternoon.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
A Christmas tree decorated with replicas of marijuana leaves advocating for medical marijuana sits on the second floor of the Prescott Valley Library Saturday afternoon.

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

From a distance, the white Christmas tree set up on the second floor of the library looks like any of the other 30 trees displayed as part of Prescott Valley's 12th annual Create-a-Tree competition.

But walk a bit closer, and you find that all the ornaments have the same, familiar shape.

Hanging from the branches of the artificial tree are dozens of green, marijuana-leaf shaped cutouts. Each one has information about medical marijuana on it. There are the conditions and symptoms medical marijuana treats, the benefits of using it and quotes from experts and scientists explaining why marijuana should be legal.

Each tree was created by a community organization, like a business, church, or a school group. The Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation Department organizes the yearly event. Brian Witty, director of the department, said originality is encouraged.

"It is an art contest," he said.

The white tree decorated with replicas of marijuana leaves is an entry from MJ Consulting in Prescott Valley. It's not a dispensary, but a "medical marijuana community resource center."

"I didn't think they would let me in, but they did," Michelle Alexander, director at MJ Consulting said. She had the idea for what she called "the very first medical marijuana Christmas tree in the state of Arizona."

She said that, while it does promote her business, the tree serves another purpose.

"It's helping to get the public familiar with the medical conditions you need to have to get a (medical marijuana) card," she said. "That's why we put up the learning tree, so people could learn."

Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane disagreed that the tree was educational. "It is sad that this company has to take an otherwise innocent contest and make it political and misinform the public about the risks of so-called medical marijuana," he said. 

"I can only hope that some innocent child isn't somehow persuaded that marijuana is now okay and then gets stuck on the destructive path that can follow," McGrane said.

Witty said that the selection committee treated the MJ Consulting tree as they would treat any other entry, because MJ Consulting is a legal business.

"I think that's a determination that the folks in the state have made," he said.

He said he had heard no negative comments about the tree.

Alexander is pleased with the display.

"You can see it straight across the lobby," she said. "We wondered if they were going to hide us in the back corner, but they didn't. They were really nice to us."

The tree, along with 29 other entries, will be displayed at the Prescott Valley library until Jan. 3, when voting ends.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Article comment by: Fear and Loathing of Narrow minds

Its a Christmas tree, get over it. Find something else to fume over. If your kids are smart, they wont do drugs, if they are not, they will take them anyway no matter how much information they receive.

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Article comment by: sw native

I am with you. Shocking, shameful and disturbing. Way to ruin a Christmas display idiots.

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Article comment by: This is crazy

WOW! So let's a a pot tree in the library In Prescott Valley, and teach our kids that it's okay to smoke pot! Are you kidding me?!?!

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