A campaign for a 2020 ballot initiative to legalize adult-use (recreational) marijuana in Arizona is expected to launch before July.
Stacy Pearson, a political consultant at Strategies 360, whose firm is running the campaign, said they’ll have an entire year to collect signatures if they launch by July, AZ Mirror reported. 237,645 valid signatures are needed by July 2, 2020, for the campaign to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.
Pearson said they will model the Arizona initiative on the best practices from other states that have legalized recreational marijuana—such as Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada—while avoiding issues that states have encountered, such as number of dispensary licenses available, high taxes, public marijuana use and home cultivation.
“The last four or five years of this have been light years in terms of industry development and maturity,” Pearson said. “So, this isn’t an experiment anymore in the Western states. There are things that have worked that can be replicated and things that haven’t worked in other states that can be avoided. It’s a smarter, better researched, more mature industry and campaign.”
In March, the campaign committee Smart and Safe Arizona was created to run the campaign. They are now accepting donations on their website to support the campaign efforts, and they’ve already raised $100,000 from Harvest Enterprises Inc, which operates nine dispensaries in Arizona.
Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the campaign that opposed adult-use marijuana legalization in 2016, was well funded and supported—and likely will be again. They raised over $6 million in 2016, with $5 million of that being directly raised through Governor Doug Ducey’s anti-cannabis campaigning efforts.
Photo: Tom Margie/Flickr CC2.0 Modified.
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