Representatives Todd Clodfelter and Mark Cardenas want Arizona voters to decide on recreational marijuana in November. Their bill had bipartisan support but, unfortunately, died in the statehouse.
Moe Asnani, a dispensary owner in Tucson, says that the “political courage in Phoenix just is not strong enough to want to explore the possibility of legalization for recreational purposes,” reported KVOA 4 News.
It doesn’t help that Governor Doug Ducey strongly opposes marijuana in general. But Clodfelter is not throwing in the towel. He said, “It’s not so much my concept of legalization is my preference but it’s a common sense thing to do. If we don’t legalize it through the legislature, we have limited our ability to manage the outcome if it comes through a citizen’s initiative.”
Clodfelter plans to hold study sessions with those on all sides of the current marijuana debate. He hopes that new legislation will make it to the floor in the 2019 legislative session. He also says that the state is losing money to neighboring states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
Clodfelter said, “Lawful adults purchase the product and come back to Arizona and use the product anyway. The dollars we’re losing to California, Colorado and Nevada could stay in Arizona.”
Asnani said, “It could be a serious solution to the opioid epidemic. Again, it seems to be a bridge too far for Ducey and I think that’s where the political courage comes into play.”
Recreational marijuana could still make its way onto Arizona ballots in November via citizen initiatives if enough valid signatures are received in time for the ballot cut-off date.