Some Arizona Republican lawmakers are warning their peers that a popular recreational marijuana legalization ballot initiative in the state is likely to pass in November and that the Legislature should consider legalizing marijuana to avoid voter protection laws.
“I think the legislature needs to accept the fact that the initiative is going to pass,” Rep. Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert), told Arizona Mirror.
Arizona’s constitution says that to change a voter approved law there must be at least a two-thirds supermajority vote that will “further the intent” of the voter approved law.
Grantham decided to hear Rep. Randy Friese’s bill to educate his colleagues about the differences between cannabis legalization by the Legislature versus a voter approved initiative.
Friese’s bill, HB 2657, would legalize the use of marijuana for adults over 21 and establish a state-controlled marijuana board.
“The whole reason I am proposing this legislation is to give those people some comfort,” Friese mentioned regarding concerns from anti-legalization groups. “As we step into this space [cannabis legalization], lets do it in a very controlled way.”
Grantham believes a legislative approach for major laws, such as legalizing marijuana for adult use, makes more sense.
On Feb 14, it was reported that Arizona Republican lawmakers created a proposal that has been “approved by a Senate committee Thursday [and] would gut a major part of the Voter Protection Act.” In other words, Arizona lawmakers are secretly trying to amend the state’s constitution to take away power from Arizonans.
“Amending the constitution to steal power from the voters, on a party-line vote, without public testimony,” Joel Edman from Arizona Advocacy Network tweeted. “These are the actions of a power-hungry majority acting at the behest of corrupt corporate interests and desperately trying to hold on to power.”
Contact your local representative to communicate your opinion on these matters.