Initiatives designed to legalize recreational marijuana are on the ballot in five states in 2016, including Arizona.
Arizona Marijuana Legalization, Proposition 205 (2016)
|A “yes” vote supports legalizing the possession and consumption of marijuana by persons who are 21 years of age or older.|
|A “no” vote opposes this measure to legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by persons who are 21 years of age or older.|
Proposition 205 (2016) Overview
Standing of marijuana in Arizona
In Arizona, the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal. Medical cannabis was legalized by the passage in 1996 of Proposition 200. A conflict ensued between medical marijuana proponents and opponents that were legislative then. The conflict came to head when voters approved another medical cannabis initiative labeled Proposition 203. Although the Obama administration’s Department of Justice will not prosecute most people and businesses following state and local marijuana laws, both medical and recreational marijuana are prohibited under federal law. Proposition 205 would make recreational cannabis legal in Arizona state law.
State of ballot measure efforts
The Campaign to Control Bud Like Alcohol has out-raised competitors two-to-one. The largest donor to the “Yes” effort is the Marijuana Policy Project. A producer of a synthetic painkillers, Insys Therapeutics, contributed $500,000 to the opposition, which set off a debate on whether the company opposes the initiative from the standpoint of children’s well-being or financial gain. Surveys have shown a close conflict since the beginning of August 2016, with support between 40 and 50 percent and resistance between 51 percent and 40.
Who could use marijuana?
How would it be regulated?
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. The Arizona Governor would appoint the department’s director.
Proposition 205 would establish fines for smoking or using in a public place, underage use, unauthorized production, and possession over legal limits. The maximum fine would be $300 and community service.
Counties, cities, and towns would be empowered to regulate and limit marijuana businesses. The measure was also designed to allow medical marijuana facilities to transition to recreational marijuana facilities.
How would it be taxed?
- See also: Fiscal analysis of Proposition 205
A 15 percent tax would be levied on the sale of marijuana. Revenue would be deposited in a Marijuana Fund and distributed to the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control and the Department of Revenue, localities where marijuana establishments exist, school districts and charter schools, and the Arizona Department of Health Services.