The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol published a press release Tuesday announcing that it has gathered more than 200,000 signatures backing a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis in Arizona.
The campaign needed to collect at least 150,642 signatures in order to get the proposal on the November 2016 ballot.
Campaign Chairman J.P. Holyoak said that “voters want to have their say on whether Arizona should end marijuana prohibition. It’s appearing more and more likely that they are going to have that opportunity. We’re finding that most Arizonans agree marijuana should be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”
If passed, the initiative would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess certain amounts of cannabis. The proposal would, as its name implies, create a regulatory system for cannabis similar to the one currently in place for alcohol. Under such a system, retail cannabis sales would be taxed at a rate of 15%, and resultant revenue would go primarily toward schools and public education programs.
“The level of interest in signing our petition seems to grow as people learn more about marijuana and the specifics of the initiative,” said Campaign Chairman Holyoak. “The simple truth is that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a failure as alcohol prohibition. Arizonans think it’s time for a more sensible approach, and that’s exactly what we’re proposing.”
Certain marijuana proponents recently have come out against the initiative, however, claiming that it would give Arizona’s existing medical marijuana industry an unfair monopoly on cannabis business.
Photo Credit: Shango Los