Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich doesn’t want Arizona voters to decide on adult-use marijuana legalization via ballot initiative. He’d rather see state lawmakers pass a law legalizing marijuna.
Brnovich wants lawmakers to handle the popular issue because it is “far too complex to be left to a take-it-or-leave-it ballot measure,” Tucson.com reported. One of the reasons behind his stance is because voter-approved legislation has protections (requiring a three-fourths majority for any changes to take effect) that prevent lawmakers from simply making adjustments to the law.
Brnovich said, “Generally speaking, as a matter of public policy, the public policy makers, i.e., the Legislature, should step up and address issues so voters don’t have to do it via the initiative process.”
Stacy Pearson, a consultant working on the new ballot initiative, said, “I think this is more work than the Legislature has the capacity to tackle. This is complicated.”
Petitions for the new ballot initiative are expected to start obtaining signatures within the next few weeks. By July 2, 2020, the initiative needs to have at least 237,645 valid signatures from registered voters.
Ducey said, “Of course I want to protect the will of the voters. But I also think we have a legislative process for a reason, and that’s to adjust and improve policy when we can.”
Although Governor Ducey vehemently opposes recreational marijuana, he likely would prefer having a Legislature-crafted recreational marijuana legalization law in Arizona than a voter-approved law.
Arizona’s lawmakers will have to pass a legalization bill during the next legislative session in order to beat the likely-to-be-approved ballot measure being introduced within the next couple of weeks.