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Arizona Cannabis Initiative Is One Step Away from Ballots

AZ Cannabis

The Smart and Safe Arizona ballot initiative which could legalize adult-use marijuana in Arizona has already gathered more than 300,000 signatures, well surpassing the 237,645 required to get on ballots in November 2020. The initiative now needs final approval from the state before it can be listed on ballots.

A recent poll found that 65% of Arizonans support the initiative. Arizona would join nearly a dozen other states in legalizing marijuana for persons 21 and older, if voters approve the ballot measure.

In 2016, an initiative attempting to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona failed 48.23% to 51.77%. The failure was primarily due to pro-marijuana Arizonans vying for multiple initiatives instead of compromising on the initiative that had the most support and best chance of winning. If these voters had joined forces, that initiative would have passed and adults in Arizona could have been enjoying legalized recreational marijuana for the past few years. Instead, marijuana use and possession are still felonies with potential jail time in Arizona. Arizona has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country.

Main facts about the initiative:

  • would legalize marijuana possession and use for persons 21 and older
  • would allow home cultivation of up to 6 plants at an individual’s primary residence (up to 12 plants if two adults reside there)
  • would establish over 100 recreational marijuana dispensaries
  • marijuana would be sold with a 16% excise tax (which is a lower tax rate than most other states)
  • would decriminalize many marijuana-related offenses


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