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Initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona fails to qualify for ballot

PHOENIX — Supporters of an initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Arizona gathered only half the signatures needed to put the issue before voters this year.

Safer Arizona, the organization behind the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act, collected just 75,000 of the required 150,642 signatures by Thursday’s deadline to make the November ballot, according to the group’s Facebook page.

The act would have made it legal for people in Arizona age 21 and above to use, grow and sell marijuana.

David Wisniewski, chairman of Safer Arizona, told Capitol Media Services that the campaign struggled because it got no support from owners of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Arizona is one of 30 states that allows the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states — including regional neighbors California, Nevada and Colorado — plus Washington D.C.

In 2016, Arizona voted against Prop 205, which would have legalized marijuana, by a narrow 51.3-48.7 percent margin.

A recent poll showed that only 21 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Arizona supported the legalization of recreational marijuana.

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