AZ Prop. 205 aims to legalize recreational marijuana

AZ Prop. 205 aims to legalize recreational marijuana

There will be an initiative on the November ballot to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older in Arizona.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State in late June.

According to the campaign website, only 150,642 signatures were required.

The campaign states Proposition 205 would:

  • Allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and consume marijuana in private.
  • Establish a regulation system similar to alcohol.
  • Enact a 15% tax on marijuana sales, in addition to standard state and local sales taxes.
  • Use tax revenue to fund regulation enforcement.

Proposition 205 would allocate the majority of tax revenues to schools. If passed, 40% of excess tax revenue would go toward The Department of Education for school construction, maintenance and operating costs.

It would allocate another 40% of excess revenue to The Department of Education for full-day kindergarten programs.

The remaining 20% would go toward The Department of Health Services for public education for alcohol, marijuana and substance education.

The owner of the local dispensary Purplemed Healing Center, Jean-Paul Genet, said he supports the initiative.

“I expect to see a huge leap in the standard of education in Arizona,” said Genet.

Genet said it’s going to positively impact the economy.

“It is going to provide more employment and there’s going to be more taxes collected as a result,” he said. “There will be more opportunities for business development.”

Resident, Arturo Valenzuela, said he does not think legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a good idea.

“Especially, for the people that are driving,” said Valenzuela. “I mean we already have a problem with alcohol and now legalizing this, it’s going to be even worse.”

Genet said it does pose some dilemma, but argued marijuana is nothing like alcohol.

According to the campaign website, driving while impaired by marijuana would remain illegal. Public marijuana use would also remain illegal.

The initiative would not change existing penalties for the possession of more than one ounce of marijuana.

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