Safer Arizona filed its initiative to repeal marijuana prohibition in Arizona on February 16. A day later, one initiative leader admits that the initiative goes too far because it calls for a complete repeal of current marijuana laws in Arizona.
Safer Arizona chairman David Wisniewski learned of a required barrier of 1,000-feet between schools and marijuana businesses required by federal authorities, according to Phoenix New Times. Wisniewski admitted that changes to that and the 48 plant personal grow limit would need to be made.
Tom Dean, Safer Arizona’s legal counsel, said that changes to penalties for sales to minors will also need to be changed. The fine, as currently written in the initiative, says that those caught selling to minors would get a civil citation and up to $2,500 in fines. Minors selling to minors would face a $500 fine.
An updated initiative is expected to be filed.
Wisniewski said, in regards to previous attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona, that, “Our initiative makes 205 look like straight-up fascism.”
Tom Dean asked that other issues within the initiative be brought to his attention.
Other flaws noted in the Phoenix New Times’s article include:
- No commercial grow license required (retail sales tax license is only requirement)
- Commercial grows allowed in private homes with no plant limit
- No penalties other than civil citations and a $500 fine
- Prevention of government inspection of commercial grows
- Marijuana edibles operations could operate out of private homes
Marijuana Industry Trade Association executive director Demitri Downing said, “Viability with voters is going to be the big issue with this initiative.”
In regards to Safer Arizona’s approach, Downing said, “They are pretty hard-headed. I gave up trying to convince them to incorporate mainstream ideas and industry acknowledgement. You cannot just destroy an industry. That ain’t cool.”
Those supporting Safer Arizona’s efforts can volunteer their time to gather signatures and campaign for the initiative. Regarding Safer Arizona’s campaign funding situation, Wisniewski said, “We have 3,500 bucks in the bank, but that’s not enough.”
Safer Arizona reports that 300 people are interested in volunteering their time. The newly filed initiative is gaining a lot of attention from both supporters and those opposing the efforts.