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Phoenix Open Golf Marijuana

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona are launching a Phoenix Open-inspired billboard Monday to coincide with the kickoff of the golf tournament. It will be up through the end of the tournament on Sunday.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the world’s best-attended golf tournament, according to the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which refers to the Coors-sponsored tournament as the “greatest party on grass.”

The billboard features two adult marijuana consumers relaxing in a field and reads, “If beer and golf make for the ‘greatest party on grass’… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?”

Phoenix Open Marijuana Billboard

“We’re glad that Arizona residents have the opportunity to attend the Open, consume alcoholic beverages, and enjoy the ‘greatest party on grass,’” said CRMLA chairman J.P. Holyoak. “We also think it’s important to acknowledge that alcohol is a much more harmful substance than marijuana.

“Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, and more likely to contribute to rowdy or violent behavior,” Holyoak said. “If spectators can enjoy a beer or cocktail at the TPC, adults should not be arrested for enjoying a little marijuana at a backyard picnic. It is, quite literally, a safer party on grass.”

The billboard directs viewers to Marijuana-vs-Alcohol.org, which details several ways in which marijuana is significantly less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society.

The CRMLA is in the process of collecting signatures in support of a November ballot initiative that would make marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older in Arizona and establish a system in which it is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

“Our state took a shot at marijuana prohibition and landed in a hazard,” Holyoak said. “We are giving Arizona a mulligan on its marijuana policy and letting voters take another swing at it this fall. For our part, we will continue to educate Arizonans about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol as we tee up this initiative for November.”

Arizona Medical Marijuana Program

A new report by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) found that Arizona has one of the nation’s best medical marijuana programs.

The ASA’s report evaluated items such as patient rights, civil protections, access to medicine, product safety, cultivation, dispensaries, lab testing, product labeling and overall program functionality.

Arizona scored a B-, putting it in the top echelon along with states like Colorado (B), Hawaii (B), Illinois (B+), Maine (B-), Massachusetts (B), Nevada (B), New Mexico (B+), Oregon (B), and Washington (B).

For most issues — arrest protections, affirmative defense, number of dispensaries, cultivation –- Arizona scored very well, and poorly on just a few -– required lab testing for marijuana, expensive fees, recall protocols and reporting.

View the report: ASA’s Medical Marijuana Access Report 2016