PHX Reporter

PHX Reporter

Friday, February 21, 2020

Recreational marijuana advocates push for ballot initiatives

Politics

By John Breslin | Jan 27, 2020

1600px marijuana plant 03
Wikimedia Commons, Jennifer Martin

Advocates for recreational marijuana are pushing two ballot initiatives they want to be included for voters to decide on in November.

The Arizona Dispensary Association is spear heading the Smart and Safe Act, which is close to gathering the needed 237,645 signatures to be included on the ballot.

By mid January, 160,000 signatures had been collected, Stacy Pearson, senior vice president of Strategies 360, told the Tucson Weekly.

"We're in great shape with six months left to collect," Pearson said. "The reaction on the street is very positive and the turn-away rate is low across the state."

The Arizona Cannabis Chamber of Commerce is pushing for a referendum, but are going through the state legislature to have it on the ballot this November.

"We got some work to do there and we're still trying to garner support," Mason Cave, spokesperson for the group, told the Tucson Weekly. "By going the referendum route we're going to take in a lot of the comments and criticisms in regards to our language and we think that's healthy."

While Cave said state legislators have shown support, none have yet openly endorsed the plan for a referendum. He believes they will do so following the opening of the session.

A number of marijuana-related bills have been filed in the legislature, including one to expunge and erase marijuana possession arrests and another adding opioid use and autism spectrum disorders to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients.

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