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Group: Legalized marijuana not smart for Arizona

Jake Dimmock, co-owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, works on balancing the pH level of the soil used to grow new medical marijuana plants, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Seattle. After voters weighed in on election day, Colorado and Washington became the first states to allow legal pot for recreational use, but they are likely to face resistance from federal regulations. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

PHOENIX -- Voters in Colorado and Washington have approved the use of recreational marijuana, but the director of an Arizona anti-drug group said it would be a mistake to invoke a similar law.

The age-old argument for legalizing marijuana has been that, since people will continue to smoke pot, the state might as well tax it and make money off of it. Shelly Mowery with Drug Free AZ said that is shortsighted thinking.

"When you look at the impacts that marijuana use causes, the tax would pale in comparison to the health care costs and costs of auto crashes connected with impaired driving," she said.

Mowery is unaware of any efforts under way at this time to push to legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona.

Mowery is not sure if the voter-approved use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state will hold up in court. Federal law prohibits the use of marijuana and federal laws override those created by state and local governments.

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About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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