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AZ Legalization Initiative Could Generate $40M for Education

Arizona Recreational Marijuana

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use in Arizona, estimates that marijuana legalization would raise more than $40 million annually for Arizona’s educational system.

“Generating revenue for our schools isn’t the only reason to pass this initiative, but it’s an important one,” said Lisa Olson, a teacher in Mesa, AZ. “I support it because it will not only improve public education, but also public safety. Regulating marijuana would replace dealers on the streets with store clerks who ask for ID and only sell to adults.”

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative would enact a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales from state-licensed dispensaries for adults 21 years of age and older. A large portion of the tax revenue collected would be allocated to Arizona’s Department of Education for school construction, maintenance, and operating costs, and other programs.

“Our schools are in serious need of funding, and taxing marijuana would create a significant new revenue stream,” said State Sen. Martin Quezada. “Marijuana sales are going to keep taking place regardless of whether this initiative passes or fails. But only if it passes will they raise tens of millions of dollars each year for public education in Arizona.”

To date, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative has gathered approximately 60,000 signatures and needs 150,000 by July 2016 to get the initiative onto the November 2016 ballot where Arizonans can vote on the initiative.