ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona voter initiatives aim to legalize all drugs, marijuana in 2018 election

Mar 23, 2017, 7:13 PM | Updated: Mar 24, 2017, 11:16 am
In this Dec. 31, 2012 file photo, Rachel Schaefer, of Denver, smokes marijuana on the official open...

In this Dec. 31, 2012 file photo, Rachel Schaefer, of Denver, smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club, where a New Year's Eve party was held in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

PHOENIX — One Arizona organization is seeking to legalize all criminal drugs around the state, according to two voter initiative applications filed with Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

I-13-2018, filed by an organization called RAD Final, aims to re-legalize all drugs, “including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD and peyote.”

“This initiative is 100 percent complete legalization of all drugs,” according to Reagan’s office. “It forbids the government from taxing or regulating any drug.”

The initiative would also give “complete, automatic pardons” to anyone convicted of a drug-related crime, “civilly punishes government employees” who violate others’ rights, “forbids extraditing for drug crimes,” forbids discrimination against drug users and requires courts to accept drug cases.

The initiative was filed Wednesday and would require 150,642 signatures by July 5, 2018 to be placed on the ballot in November 2018. RAD Final’s chairman Mickey Jones filed the application with the secretary’s office.

Another initiative filed with Secretary of State Michele Reagan aims to legalize marijuana, much like Proposition 205 aimed to do in the November general election last year.

RAD Final also filed I-14-2018, also known as the “Initiative to re-legalize Marijuana in Arizona.” This initiative aims to do just that: Legalize recreational marijuana.

“This initiative is 100 percent complete legalization of marijuana, unlike the phony baloney Safer Arizona initiative,” according to Reagan’s office. “It forbids the government from taxing or regulating marijuana.”

The initiative would also give “complete, automatic pardons” to anyone convicted of a marijuana crime, “civilly punishes government employees” who violate others’ marijuana rights, “forbids extraditing for marijuana crimes,” forbids discrimination against marijuana users and requires courts to accept marijuana cases.

This initiative would require 150,642 additional signatures by July 5, 2018 in order to be placed on the ballot in November 2018.

It is similar to Proposition 205, which aimed to legalize recreational marijuana for those in the state who were 21 and older. It failed in the November general election.

But RAD Final and other organizations that aim to put voter initiatives on the ballot in 2018 will have an uphill battle: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation into law on Thursday that opponents argued will make it more difficult to get voter initiatives on the ballot.

House Bill 2404 will ban groups from paying signature collectors per signature and will force them to pay minimum wage instead. In a statement, Ducey argued that the law will “ensure the integrity of ballot measures moving forward.”

“It protects the voters’ ability to directly weigh-in on how the state is run, provides for an additional check on the legality and accuracy of initiative language, helps increase the likelihood of quality, accurate signatures and ensures that signature gathers are paid appropriately for their work,” the statement said.

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Arizona voter initiatives aim to legalize all drugs, marijuana in 2018 election