Aside from the perfidious fart balloon and the merry band of nativists elected by a minority of voters to lead America (and inspire violent rallies at which neo-Nazis are welcomed but journalists are assaulted), Arizona was the lone dark spot for marijuana on Election Day.
Of all the states where voters were asked to ponder cannabis legalization or medical marijuana questions, only in Arizona did marijuana lose.
Thanks to big money donations from Republican casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, as well as six figures from pharmaceutical companies (including fentanyl-maker Insys Therapeutics, which is currently working on a “synthetic marijuana drug”), Arizona’s Prop. 205—which would have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over in a way similar to successful initiatives in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada—went down, 48 percent of voters in favor to 52 percent against.
But no matter. There’s another election in 2018, and a majority of Americans tell every pollster that they’re ready for legal weed and an end to petty pot arrests. So why stop there?
If the war on marijuana has failed—and there aren’t many credible people who say otherwise—what about the war on everything else? One Arizona group wants to try the Hamsterdam approach, and—in their words—re-legalize all drugs.
Crazy? Definitely. A long-shot? Absolutely. But is it possible—and perhaps even plausible?
Probably not, as RAD Final—the “RAD” is for “re-legalize all drugs”—legalizes everything, including heroin, methamphetamine, bath salts and other nasty stuff.
It would also, as KTAR reported, make it exceedingly difficult for the state’s successful medical marijuana program, with its several hundred million dollars’ worth of sales, to continue, as it “forbids the government from taxing or regulating any drug,” including cannabis.
“This initiative is 100% complete legalization of all drugs. It forbids the government from taxing or regulating any drug. It gives complete, automatic pardons to anyone convicted of a drug crime, civilly punishes government employees who violate a person drug rights, forbids extraditing for drug crimes, forbids the government from discriminating against drug users and requires the courts to accept cases involving drugs.”
It goes all the way!
But special attention is paid to marijuana. The same group, led by chairman Mickey Jones, also filed a legalization initiative—and it, too, goes much, much further than Prop. 205 and its narrow defeat.
The “initiative to re-legalize marijuana in Arizona” is “100 percent complete legalization of marijuana, unlike the phony baloney Safer Arizona initiative,” according to Jones’s filing, on file at the Secretary of State’s office. “It forbids the government from taxing or regulating marijuana.”
To get on the 2018 ballot, RAD will need to collect 150,642 valid signatures from registered Arizona voters by July 5, 2018. And to do that will be harder than ever: As the Arizona Republic reported, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law on Friday that forbids paid signature-gathering for voter initiatives. This is significant, for RAD and for any future efforts to legalize marijuana, or any other drug.
Every major ballot initiative across the country, and most of the marijuana legalization efforts, relied on paid signature-gatherers to stand at bus stops, outside coffee shops and otherwise hound voters into participating in direct democracy.
This means if weed is going to be legalized in Arizona—or anything else—people will have to be really, really into it. Somehow, we don’t quite think the Southwest is ready for that kind of freedom for all drugs.