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Arizona voters approve Prop 207 to legalize recreational marijuana

(AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

PHOENIX – Arizona voters approved a statewide ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Voters passed Proposition 207, which was designed to allow anyone 21 or older to have up to 1 ounce of cannabis. The 16% tax on its sale will fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs and roads and highways.

The legalization of marijuana in Arizona had been predicted to generate upwards of $300 million annually.

About 60% of voters said yes to the proposition at the time it was called by The Associated Press.

Voters struck down a similar initiative in 2016, Proposition 205, which would have legalized recreational marijuana and the tax revenue would’ve been used to fund the state’s school system.

Proponents of Prop. 207 campaigned that the initiative’s passage would be one of the safest ways to manage and regulate marijuana.

“We’re actually going to try and replace that black market with something that is safe, something that generates money for the state and makes a more responsible use of the product for people who choose to use it,” Chad Campbell, leader of the Smart and Safe Arizona Initiative, previously told KTAR News 92.3 FM in September.

Opponents of Prop. 207, like Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, urged voters to shoot down the ballot measure, citing concerns like teens having more access to pot, dangerous roads and protected legislation.

“Prop 207 is 17 pages of sweeping changes to Arizona law that will be virtually impossible to change,” Lisa James, who leads the group, told KTAR News 92.3 FM in September. “If this was simply about decriminalization or legalization that could be done in a page.”

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