Arizona has come close to legalizing weed in the past, but so far, it hasn’t quite succeeded. But now, thanks to a new proposal introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives, the state could give it another shot. With Arizona trying to legalize marijuana, the push for more weed-friendly laws around the country continues.
Arizona’s New Legalization Proposal
Republican Representative Todd Clodfelter, representing Tucson, and Democratic Representative Mark Cardenas, representing Phoenix, introduced the proposal on Thursday.
The proposal calls for the legalization of marijuana for adults 21 and older. More specifically, it would allow adults in Arizona to possess up to an ounce of cannabis. The proposal would also make it legal for adults to grow up to six plants.
Under the proposal, smoking in public would be illegal. Similarly, cities and towns would have the ability to choose whether or not to allow weed businesses. Employers would also have the freedom to choose whether or not to bar employees from consuming weed.
The proposal would also establish a system for taxing legal cannabis sales. These changes would apply to recreational weed. The state’s current medical marijuana laws would all remain intact.
Arizona and Cannabis
This isn’t the first time that lawmakers and voters in Arizona have considered the possibility of legalizing weed. In fact, the state has a bit of an up-and-down relationship with cannabis laws.
After several failed attempts to create a viable medical marijuana program during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the state finally legalized MMJ in 2010. That year, Proposition 203 passed with a narrow 50.1 percent favorable vote.
That year, four other states voted in favor of legalizing weed. Arizona was the only state with a legalization bill that year that did not pass.
Arizona was also the state that saw some of the most well-funded opposition efforts in the nation. Most notably, pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics gave $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a leading anti-legalization group.
Then, a few months after the state’s legalization bill was defeated, news surfaced that Insys was developing its own synthetic marijuana drug called Syndros. In March 2017, the company received DEA approval for Syndros.
On top of all that, Insys has also been investigated for possible criminal activity related to the aggressive marketing of a drug containing the highly addictive opioid fentanyl.
Final Hit: Is Arizona Trying To Legalize Marijuana Again?
Clodfelter’s and Cardenas’ proposal could give voters in Arizona another chance to legalize weed. If it receives approval from the House and the Senate, the proposal will appear on November’s ballot.
At this point, it’s unclear whether or not the new proposal has a chance of succeeding. Importantly, the proposal was introduced by a bipartisan partnership between Clodfelter, a Republican, and Cardenas, a Democrat.
Despite this, local media sources report that there is strong Republican opposition to legalization throughout the state. The proposal is now up for consideration in the House. If it clears the House, it would then go onto the Senate.