Advocates file ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona

Aug 9, 2019, 5:15 PM | Updated: Aug 12, 2019, 6:01 pm

PHOENIX – Marijuana legalization advocates moved Friday to get the issue before Arizona voters in 2020.

Smart & Safe Arizona filed a 16-page initiative with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to make it legal for adults at least 21 years old to consume the drug and possess up to 1 ounce.

Marijuana is currently legal in the state only for medical use with a prescription.

Organizers say they plan to start circulating petitions around Labor Day.

They’ll need to gather 240,000 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot in November 2020.

The initiative would generate $300 million to fund community colleges, public safety, public health and infrastructure through a 16% excise tax, according to a Smart & Safe Arizona press release.

The proposal includes provisions preventing marijuana from being smoked in restaurants and open spaces like parks and sidewalks.

The sale of gummy cannabis edibles that resemble candy would be banned under the initiative.

A group with a stated mission of raising “awareness about the harms of marijuana and other substances” issued a press release opposing the initiative.

“Legalizing marijuana is neither smart nor safe,” Sheila Polk, chair of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, said in the release.

“Just as they did in 2016, Arizonans should reject this risky gamble with public health and safety.”

The 2016 marijuana initiative was voted down by a margin of 51.3% to 48.7%.

In 2018, a group called Safer Arizona tried getting the legalization question on the ballot but only collected about half the necessary signatures.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Lottery Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Anonymous Arizona family claims $75.2M Mega Millions jackpot

A Lake Havasu City family claimed a $75.2 million jackpot from a Mega Millions drawing last week, the Arizona Lottery announced Thursday.
12 hours ago
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, bottom right, was briefed by Border Patrol agents at the Tucson sector hea...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Ducey says cartels using Uber-like system for human trafficking

Cartels in Mexico are using an Uber-like system as part of their human trafficking operations at the border, according to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
12 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Dirt bike rider dies after collision with police vehicle on Phoenix street

A man riding a dirt bike that wasn't approved for street use died after a collision with a Phoenix police vehicle Wednesday evening, authorities said.
12 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...

Memorial services for former Arizona AG Grant Woods set for Nov. 12

Memorial services for former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods have been set for Nov. 12 in Phoenix, the family said Thursday.
12 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...

Bullet hits Arizona DPS trooper vehicle in El Mirage

Authorities said someone shot at an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper vehicle in metro Phoenix late Wednesday.
12 hours ago
(Chompie's Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Chompie’s deli set to open its largest restaurant near site of original Phoenix location

Chompie's is set to open its fifth, and largest, restaurant next week about a mile from where its original Phoenix location debuted in 1979.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Advocates file ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona