By Bob Christie, Associated Press
(AP) — Republicans in the Legislature who have long chafed at a ban on changing voter-approved initiatives, such as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, are moving to ask voters to allow them to do just that on measures affecting “public health or safety.”
The proposal from GOP Sen. Vince Leach approved by a Senate committee Thursday would gut a major part of the Voter Protection Act. That 1998 constitutional amendment approved by voters bars any changes to voter approved laws unless they “further the purpose” of the measure and get a three-quarters vote of the Legislature.
Leach told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the effort was prompted by concerns about voter-approved laws, including one allowing the use of medical marijuana and one approved in 2016 that raised the state minimum wage to $12 by this year. That measure increases state heathcare costs, while lawmakers have been stymied in efforts to regulate THC-infused edibles and marijuana growing operations.