Arizona Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Amendment (2014)
|Voting on Marijuana|
|Not on ballot|
Supporters say that, while volunteers are still active, they are very far behind schedule on their signature collection. Many have given up hope for a 2014 ballot because of the lack of funding. They have, instead, set their sights on a 2016 initiative, as, reportedly, there is a strong possibility for a financial backer for a 2016 measure.
In 2010, Arizona voters approved Proposition 203, a medical marijuana measure, by a small margin of 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent. This proposition allowed state residents with certain medical conditions to use a specified amount of marijuana as part of their treatment. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Health Services was put in charge of regulating the sale and use of the marijuana for medicinal purposes. After Proposition 203 was approved, specific rules were released detailing who is permitted to grow, distribute and use marijuana. Gov. Jan Brewer filed a lawsuit to confirm that the new law was indeed legal. However, the lawsuit was subsequently dropped.
Safer Arizona says it is basing the measure off of similar measures that were successful in Colorado and Washington in 2012. The Colorado initiative, Amendment 64, was approved only six years after a similar measure was defeated in the state. Amendment 64 legalized the use and possession of marijuana for those 21 and older, though a person cannot possess more than an ounce of marijuana. The state was tasked with regulating sales of the drug. Washington's Initiative 502 legalized the production, possession, delivery and distribution of marijuana for people 21 and older. Additionally, the measure made it illegal for a motorist to have more than 5 nanograms of THC - an active ingredient of marijuana - per milliliter of blood in their system.
One difference between the proposed Arizona amendment and the initiatives in Colorado and Washington is the age at which people may legally possess marijuana. For the Arizona measure, it's 18 years of age and older, but for those in Washington and Colorado, the age limit is 21 and older. Another difference between the initiatives is that Arizona's proposes that police must submit video-taped evidence of impairment when performing sobriety tests if said evidence is to be admissible in court during driving while impaired by marijuana cases.
The group, "Safer Arizona", which is led by Dennis Bohlke, is sponsoring the measure. The Arizona branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, referred to as AZ4NORML, has said it will support the measure.
The group, "Keep AZ Drug-free," is opposed to the potential ballot measure. Group member Jessica Smith said, "We knew all along that medicinal was baby steps to full legalization, which now the pro drug lobby has come out and announced their efforts to do so." Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor had this to say about the proposed amendment: "A particularly troubling aspect of this initiative is that it sets the acceptable age for use of marijuana to 18 (voting age) which is even less restrictive than the regulations concerning alcohol, which prohibit its use until 21. If passed, this initiative will place an even greater number of immature young adults behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after legally consuming a substance that impairs their judgment and motor skills."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Arizona Constitution
Supporters say that, while volunteers are still active, they are very far behind schedule on their signature collection. Many have given up hope for a 2014 ballot measure because of the lack of funding, but have set their sights on a 2016 initiative instead, as, reportedly, there is a strong possibility for a financial backer for a 2016 measure.
- Arizona 2014 ballot measures
- 2014 ballot measures
- Arizona Legislature
- List of Arizona ballot measures
- The Republic, "Campaign launched for Ariz. ballot measure on legalizing marijuana use, growing and possession," June 13, 2013
- Arizona Daily Star, "Tim Steller: Drive to legalize pot in 2014 is a long shot," June 28, 2013
- AZCentral.com, "Arizona pot advocates set sights on ’16 ballot initiative," January 5, 2014
- CNN, "Arizona voters approve medical marijuana measure," November 14, 2010
- Arizona Republic, "Arizona will vote on medical marijuana", June 2, 2010
- Arizona Daily Sun, "Prop. 203 sets medical marijuana on right legal, financial paths", October 1, 2010
- AZCapitolTimes.com, "125,000 have signed Arizona’s medical pot petition," September 24, 2009
- Arizona Republic, "Judge to Brewer: Follow voters' will, proceed on pot dispensaries", January 19, 2012
- ABC 15, "AZ might legalize marijuana for all come 2014," June 13, 2013
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