At least one recreational marijuana legalization initiative—the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Arizona—will be up for vote on this November’s ballot. But that Act, and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, could be in dire trouble.
Members of the state’s Legislature have clandestinely introduced bill HCR 2043, which, according to the Phoenix New Times, would allow the Legislature “to amend, supersede or divert funds from a voter-approved ballot initiative or referendum measure.” In other words, the Legislature could make changes to or annul any voter-approved laws in Arizona—such as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act or potentially the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act—if they can obtain up to the same percentage of votes from lawmakers that an initiative originally received by public vote to make it a law.
As Ray Stern from the Phoenix New Times mentioned, “The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which passed by a razor-thin 50.1 percent of the vote, wouldn’t stand a prayer in the Legislature under these terms.” If passed, HCR 2043 would affect all Arizonans because any voter-approved law in Arizona, marijuana-related or not, could be changed or annulled by the Legislature.
If HCR 2043 and the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act pass into law in 2016, both recreational and medical marijuana acts in Arizona would face some extreme challenges since a vast majority of Republicans are discriminatory of marijuana.
Representative Javan Mesnard is the sponsor of HCR 2043. Arizonans will have to contact Mesnard and their local representatives and speak out against HCR 2043 in order to get the totalitarian-like bill dropped.