A campaign for a 2020 ballot initiative to legalize adult-use (recreational) marijuana in Arizona has officially launched.
The campaign committee Smart and Safe Arizona was created to run the campaign. They will attempt to obtain over 230,000 valid signatures by July 2020 in order to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.
The initiative is based on the best practices from other states that have legalized recreational marijuana—such as Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada—while avoiding problems that states have encountered, such as a low number of dispensary licenses available, high taxes and home cultivation.
Key points on the 2020 initiative are:
- In a smart, safe and responsible way, this initiative will legalize the sale, possession and consumption of one ounce of marijuana (of which 5 grams can be concentrate) for adults at least 21 years old.
- It generates $300 million in new revenue annually (via a 16% excise tax) to fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure.
- It incorporates lessons learned from the 2016 campaign, as well as from other states that have already legalized cannabis.
- It bans smoking marijuana in public places like restaurants and open spaces like sidewalks and parks.
- It protects children by requiring all packaging be childproof and labeled, bans advertising to children and bans the sale of gummy bears, gummy worms and other products that resemble kids’ candy.
- It provides critical funding for public safety training, personnel and traffic enforcement.
- It gives the Department of Health Services more than $20 million annually for addiction prevention, substance abuse treatment, teen suicide prevention, mental health programs and other justice reinvestment projects.
- It allows employers and property owners to prohibit use at their workplaces and on their property, as many do currently.
- Provides an option for folks who were previously convicted of low-level marijuana charges to have their criminal records sealed so they have fair access to jobs and housing.
- Marijuana edibles will be limited to a maximum of 100mg of THC per package.
- It limits home cultivation to 6 plants at an individual’s primary residence and 12 plants at a residence where two or more individuals who are at least 21 years old reside at one time.
- It frees up police to focus on real crime and hard drugs and unclogs the justice system which is currently backlogged with minor offenses.
- It creates thousands of good-paying jobs across Arizona.
Smart and Safe Arizona is accepting donations on their website to support the campaign efforts.
View the Smart and Safe Arizona Act.