After collecting enough signatures to qualify for this November’s vote, Arizona will have a chance to become one of America’s next legal marijuana states.
Spearheaded by the Marijuana Policy Project, the state’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced that it has garnered over 200,000 signatures from Arizona citizens supporting the effort. The proposal needed just 150,642 legitimate signatures from registered Arizona voters and easily surpassed that benchmark.
As long as there’s not over 50,000 fake signatures on that list, that means Arizona’s voters will decide the state’s legalization fate come this November’s vote. Should those voters say yes, Arizona’s policy would closely mirror Colorado’s by allowing any adult 21 and up to purchase certain amounts of legal marijuana and includes a 15% tax on all sales. As in Colorado, those tax dollars would go directly towards the Arizona school system thus proving a direct benefit to society.
That vote’s outcome looks like a promising one for cannabis, but is by no means a surefire victory. A recent poll (with a very small sample size) showed support for legalization in Arizona at just 53% which would barely pass the Campaign to Regulate Like Marijuana Like Alcohol. That number seems low, so hopefully, come election day, that polling number will be easily eclipsed and Arizona can smell out a victory. Arizona’s neighbor,
Nevada, will also get to vote on legalization this fall while California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island all have strong chances to make the ballot. Vermont could beat them all to the punch by legalizing by way of legislation, not a vote.
Arizona medical marijuana program, in place since 2011, should not be effected by legalization. Thanks to this thriving medical market, Arizona actually has the potential to be a vast legal market: sales in Arizona surged from $35 million in 2013 to $155 million in 2014 in the nation’s fasted growing marijuana market.