The people of Arizona are close to gaining the chance to vote out the cannabis prohibition this year. The director of the Marijuana Policy Project announced Tuesday that the group successfully completed a signature drive, and will be able to place the proposal on the November ballot. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) currently has 150,642 valid signatures and counting, qualifying it for the initiative on July 7th. This is according to Rob Kampia, the director of the national lobbying group MPP, which sponsored the drive. Signature gathered over 200,000 names and $1 million in donations.
Under the desert state’s measure, adults 21 or older would be allowed up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in public and grow six plants. The department of marijuana licenses and Control would be the one to oversee licensing and regulation of the plant statewide. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona) is the first congressman to endorse the CRMLA.
“We will be far better off if we shift the production and sale of marijuana to taxpaying Arizona businesses that are subject to strict regulations. It will also allow the state to direct law enforcement resources toward reducing violence and other more serious crimes,” said Gallego. “I am proud to support this initiative, as it represents a far more sensible approach to marijuana for our state.”
Arizonans, when polled, support legalization of cannabis 50-43. Prohibition supporters, called Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, have raised $480,000 in order to defeat any recreational bill in Arizona, however, the pro-legalizes group has raised double that amount. Additionally, a small group of pro-marijuana forces promises to fight legalization along with the law enforcement establishment. Medical marijuana dispensaries will get priority for recreational marijuana business licenses, according to officials. Arizona is one of over 12 states to consider either adult use legalization or medical legalization on the November ballot.
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