Exclusive: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey doesn’t want marijuana legalized

Jan 13, 2016, 5:15 AM | Updated: 8:49 am

PHOENIX — The stakes are too high to legalize recreational marijuana, according to Arizona’s governor.

During a one-on-one interview with KTAR News, Gov. Doug Ducey said if it were not for drugs, Arizona would be a much better place.

He believes the majority of problems the state faces can be linked back to drugs.

“From unemployment, to homelessness, to domestic violence, to child neglect, to our prison population,” Ducey said.

While the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol has nearly gathered the required amount of voter signatures to make it on the November ballot, Gov. Ducey said he cannot support the measure.

“I don’t know how we make ourselves a stronger state or a better place through this initiative,” he said. “Almost everything outside of our economy and education that I have to deal with in this state has a common culprit of drug abuse and addiction.”

Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Chairman J.P. Holyoak responded to the governor’s comments claiming Ducey is mischaracterizing marijuana by lumping it in with all other illegal drugs. He claims the drug is objectively safer than alcohol which is already legal.

“Different drugs have different outcomes and should be treated differently,” Holyoak said. “I mean alcohol is certainly a drug, but we know that prohibition of that doesn’t work either.”

He said legalizing marijuana is an important issue to voters, and he hopes Ducey gives it more thought before voting in November.

“When we start looking at the national trends and where our initiative is currently polling in Arizona, it makes absolute sense for him to take a look at this and have an honest discussion about it,” Holyoak said.

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Exclusive: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey doesn’t want marijuana legalized