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Supporters of legal marijuana in Arizona go to work with demonstration at State Capitol

PHOENIX — Dozens of people who favor legalized marijuana in Arizona gathered at the State Capitol on Monday, as newly elected lawmakers were sworn into office.

Kathy Inman with Mom Force AZ said legalization was overdue and she was hopeful state lawmakers will jump on board a bill for personal marijuana use.

“I believe if (state lawmakers) check their morals I believe there’s a chance. We’re going to educate them this year and hopefully with some education they’ll understand that it’s time. The time is now.”

She believed legalized marijuana use would help stop prescription drug overdoses.

“We’re losing 10 kids a month in Arizona to pharmaceutical drop overdose. We need to get on this. We need a nontoxic solution. Cannabis is it,” Inman said.

She hoped Arizona will become the third state to legalize marijuana use along with Colorado and Washington.

Robert Clark from Tucson and the group Safer Arizona said “the goal is to reform cannabis laws and to make Arizona safer. We’re here to let legislators know we are going to hold them accountable.”

Clark is not optimistic about the chances for legalization, given the conservative makeup of the legislature.

“But a lot of the principles that we stand for are the ones they stand for. Like smaller government, personal liberty and personal rights. This is more than just about getting high. The prohibition limits our ability to use this plant for medicinal, recreational and spiritual purposes.”