Arizona Next Up for Battle of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
Oh, how far recreational “pot” has came… from the 70’s partying days to now becoming part of medical marijuana miracles. If anything cannabis has been fighting the fight to become legal for a very long time. Arizona is one of the next states to work on perfecting the laws on how to make this happen.
Not long after Arizona has decided to take the leap of faith into legalizing medical marijuana, they will begin the journey and trials of the legalization of recreational use of marijuana.
Laws of the similar nature have been passed in several states already, including: Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. Next year, the Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona is poised and voters will be heard.
Recreational Use Of Marijuana Laws
Treasurer of the MPP of Arizona and a lawyer with the Rose Law Group, Ryan Hurley, as said that he believes that the national MPP has been running the measure here due to the fact that “they think it’s going to pass.”
According to a recent poll that was issued by the Behavior Research Center around fifty-one percent of Arizona residents support the legalization and around forty-one percent are against it. However, before activists can put the option on the ballot for the 2016 voters to approve, there has to be one state lawmaker who wants the legislature to pass the measure.
Mark Cardenas who is a Democratic state representative had introduced a House Bill 2007 that outlined the system for taxing and regulation of Marijuana. Which also stated that it would be for anyone over the age of twenty-one years old in Arizona, which so far most states have agreed to this age limit in their proposals. Mark has said that if you wait for the voters to pass the initiative then it is pretty hard for the lawmakers to go back and make changes to to it.
Tax Sales on Marijuana
Mark says that the tax from the marijuana sales will help Arizona. The drug war hasn’t stopped people buying it illegally, according to Mark. If they decide to make it legal then tax it and make some money of the sales. That tax money will help Arizona fill the $500 million budget gap. Due to Mark’s proposal of $50 for an ounce of marijuana in Arizona. Which if it passes means a $48 million a year in revenue for the state according to analysts. Which he already has a plan for the extra money, thirty percent would go to education, ten percent would go to substance abuse programs, another ten percent would go to treatment programs, and fifty percent would of course go to the state’s general fund.
However, there is a grey area. According to the Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery, the costs that are associated with legalizing a drug such as marijuana will probably outweigh the revenue made from taxing it.
What Could be Arizona’s Next Move
The measure, upon voter approval, would legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by persons who are 21 years of age or older. People would be permitted to grow six plants in their homes. A 15 percent tax would be levied on the sale of marijuana, and revenue from the tax would be allocated to education and healthcare. The measure would establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control which would be tasked with regulating the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation and sale of marijuana. Local governments would be empowered to regulate and limit marijuana businesses. It was also designed to allow any medical marijuana facility to transition to a recreational marijuana facility.
Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008