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Poll: Arizona voters likely to reject recreational marijuana initiative

(Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP)

PHOENIX — Arizonans may get to decide in the November election whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Supporters of a campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational use submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in late June. They need 150,642 valid signatures to put the measure on the November 8 election ballot.

The Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would legalize marijuana for anyone over 21 years old. Arizonans would be allowed to have six marijuana plants in your house, and marijuana sales would be subject to a 15 percent tax with the revenue from that going to education and healthcare.

But a new poll said if the vote were taken today, the plan would be defeated. The survey of likely voters by O.H. Predictive Insights said they are rejecting the measure.

“Thirty-nine percent of Arizonans would approve the measure while about 52.5 percent said they would vote ‘no,’ and then you’re sitting with about 8.5 percent undecided,” Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster of O.H. Predictive Insights, said..

“The ‘no’ vote — and it’s not much of a surprise — is because of rural Arizona. They tend to be more conservative,” Noble said. “The second-strongest was Maricopa county, where the ‘no’ vote was 54 percent. Pima County was at the low end at 45 percent against.”

The measure was essentially tied there with the “yes” vote coming in just more than 45.5 percent.

Noble said that the measure appears to be losing because older Arizonans are more likely to vote.

“They tend to be more conservative, and I don’t think they are nearly as warmed up to the idea (of legalized marijuana) as millennials or the younger generation,” said Noble.

Noble added that the pro-marijuana campaign does have what he calls “significant resources,” and it will be interesting to see if the vote will turn around.

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