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Sheriff Joe Arpaio concerned Mexico marijuana ruling could affect Arizona

A supporter of the legalization of marijuana smokes outside the Supreme Court in Mexico City, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. Mexico's court ruled Wednesday that growing, possessing and smoking marijuana for recreation are legal under a person's right to personal freedoms. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is concerned a recent ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court on personal marijuana usage could negatively affect Arizona.

The court ruled that Mexican citizens can now legally grow and distribute marijuana for personal use. The ruling could lead to full legalization of the drug in Mexico.

“If [Mexico] can’t control tons and tons and tons of drugs including heroin coming across the border, how are you going to control the distribution of marijuana?” Arpaio asked.

Arpaio, who has worked in a drug enforcement capacity in Mexico, never thought the country would legalize drugs. He said it could lead to college students traveling to Mexico to use marijuana.

“Instead of drinking beer, they can smoke pot,” he said. “The other problem is when you’re dealing with drugs, whether it’s legalized or not legalized, it’s prone to cause criminal activity.”

There is a push to get a measure on next year’s ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state.

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