PHOENIX — Proposition 205, a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in Arizona, failed to pass during Tuesday’s general election.
Prop. 205, if it would have passed, would have made the consumption, possession and purchase of marijuana legal for those over the age of 21.
The measure’s defeat likely came as a bit of a disappointment to some of its supporters. Early polls had Prop. 205 trailing fairly heavily, but support grew as Election Day approached. However, some felt it stood a chance if young voters turned out to vote.
The argument over the measure was divisive from the word go.
Shortly after Prop. 205 was approved for the ballot, opponents sued to remove it. They said voters received incomplete information about it, among other reasons.
Several local officials opposed it and the campaign received millions in donations, including $500,000 from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson.
If Prop. 205 would have passed, money from the drug’s sale would have gone to the state’s school system. But even that proved controversial.
“The [Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee] estimates that we’re looking at about $55 million per year directly to education and that’s a net number,” Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Chairman J.P. Holyoaks told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes recently.
However, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who opposed Prop. 205, said Holyoaks’ math left out several factors, such as paying for what would have been the Department of Marijuana and funding parts of other agencies. Only then would the remainder of the funds be sent to schools.
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