AZFMR supporters and other cannabis supporters will likely have a choice to make this November: Whether to vote yes or no on the Marijuana Policy Project-backed initiative.EXPAND
AZFMR supporters and other cannabis supporters will likely have a choice to make this November: Whether to vote yes or no on the Marijuana Policy Project-backed initiative.
Wikipedia

21 Reasons AZFMR Supporters Should Vote for Marijuana Policy Project Initiative

Supporters of Arizonans for Mindful Regulation have fought the good fight, but chances look slim that their cannabis-legalization measure will make November's ballot.

Even if the group has gathered 100,000 signatures, it has to collect another 100,000 in five months to ensure a ballot spot.

The enthusiastic volunteers and their leader, Jason Medar, threaten to vote “no” on I-08, the legalization initiative backed by the national Marijuana Policy Project and local medical-marijuana dispensaries.

New Times isn't taking a position on which legalization initiative is better, or which one voters should choose if both initiatives happen to appear on the ballot. But if the only choice voters have this year to change marijuana laws is the MPP's Campaign to Regulate and Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona initiative, here are 21 reasons why AZFMR supporters should vote for it:

21. Arizona would overturn one of the country's worst anti-cannabis laws, in which the slightest speck of pot constitutes a Class 6 felony. AZFMR supporters are more likely than most to use, possess, and grow marijuana.

(Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of concentrates for adults 21 and older would be legal under I-08, and a person would have to possess more than 2.5 ounces before it would be considered a serious crime. The proposed law also would allow adults 21 and older to grow up to six plants in their homes, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.

Possession of up to an ounce of flower, six live plants or five grams of concentrates would be legal under state law if voters approve the MPP measure.
Possession of up to an ounce of flower, six live plants or five grams of concentrates would be legal under state law if voters approve the MPP measure.
NORML

20. For amounts of less than five grams, the measure would override Arizona's draconian "narcotic" designation of cannabis concentrates like tincture, hash oil, shatter, and wax — products that, for non-medical-cardholders, now are considered a Class 4 felony. 

21 Reasons AZFMR Supporters Should Vote for Marijuana Policy Project Initiative

19. Ten people a day in metro Phoenix, including AZFMR supporters, would not be jailed and charged for simple cannabis possession.

Doing this in public now will get you hauled off to jail — but doing it in 2017, if Arizona passes a legalization law, would merit no more than a $300 fine.
Doing this in public now will get you hauled off to jail — but doing it in 2017, if Arizona passes a legalization law, would merit no more than a $300 fine.
Wikipedia

18. Even Arizona cannabis consumers of modest means would no longer need to smoke the schwag still being imported by the ton from Mexico. 

Good stuff vs. schwag.
Good stuff vs. schwag.
cannabisculture.com

17. Over time, it would eliminate the need for most medicinal users of cannabis to obtain a medical card, an annual process that requires several hours of time and about $300.

Police arrest about 10 people a day in Maricopa County for nothing but simple marijuana possession.
Police arrest about 10 people a day in Maricopa County for nothing but simple marijuana possession.
pixabay

16. Under one provision of I-08, the state would be stopped from unjust child-protective actions against people for merely possessing or using cannabis.

As American as...
As American as...
NORML

15. Arizona could remain a national leader on at least one progressive issue.

21 Reasons AZFMR Supporters Should Vote for Marijuana Policy Project Initiative

14. If you want to really piss off Republicans and so-called conservatives who support prohibition, this is your chance.

AZFMR's initiative may be the better bill — but if it doesn't make the ballot, what are you going to do?
AZFMR's initiative may be the better bill — but if it doesn't make the ballot, what are you going to do?
pixabay

13. With California and Nevada poised to make cannabis legal this year, failing to approve a legalization initiative in 2016 could leave Arizona surrounded by recreational-friendly states — which would not only look ass-backwards but would no doubt cause the state to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce.

California, Vermont and Nevada are also poised to legalize cannabis this year.
California, Vermont and Nevada are also poised to legalize cannabis this year.
publicdomainpictures.com

12. Even if some cities try to restrict home-growing, those restrictions would be a vast improvement over the current law, which makes any attempt to cultivate cannabis a felony.

The MPP measure would allow adults 21 and older to grow six plants, for a maximum of 12 plants per household.
The MPP measure would allow adults 21 and older to grow six plants, for a maximum of 12 plants per household.
aastock / Shutterstock.com

11. AZFMR supporters succeeded in forcing the MPP to include cultivation rights in its initiative – and in November, they can reap the rewards of that effort. 

"Jason? Yeah, I voted against the MPP bill like you said, and now I'm being arrested for a joint."
"Jason? Yeah, I voted against the MPP bill like you said, and now I'm being arrested for a joint."
Burlingham/Shutterstock

10. Buying marijuana would no longer require plastic baggies, frantic phone messages, and a feeling of wrongdoing. (It would, however, still require cash — until changes are made in federal banking rules.)

Can you name the strain?
Can you name the strain?
muyuy74 via Flickr

9. Voting against I-08 because it doesn't go far enough would be like voting against Arizona's initiative for women's suffrage in 1912 because it didn't include Native Americans, who achieved voting rights in the state in 1948.

Promo poster from Marijuana Policy Project
Promo poster from Marijuana Policy Project
mpp.org

8. Some AZFMR leaders have claimed that cannabis users would be worse under the MPP's measure than under Arizona's current law, but that's not true: No provision of the initiative creates a crime or penalty that would be worse than the current everything's-a-felony statutes.

A giant piece of shatter — not your grandpa's marijuana.
A giant piece of shatter — not your grandpa's marijuana.
Safer Arizona

7. AZFMR leaders have called the CRMLA's retail-store scheme a “monopoly,” but the plan actually allows for healthy competition – not only among the state's 90 dispensary businesses but among another 70 or so non-dispensary-affiliated retail stores that would be allowed.

AZFMR announced last month that its volunteers have so far collected about 100,000 signatures.
AZFMR announced last month that its volunteers have so far collected about 100,000 signatures.
Safer Arizona

6. The limit on the number of retail cannabis shops, which at about 160 under I-08 is one-tenth of what would be allowed under the AZFMR initiative, can be expanded starting in 2021.

The CRMLA allows for about 160 retail marijuana stores initially, while the AZFMR bill would allow about 1,600.EXPAND
The CRMLA allows for about 160 retail marijuana stores initially, while the AZFMR bill would allow about 1,600.
Wikipedia

5. Instead of being carted off to a filthy, unsafe jail, threatened with a felony, and forced to attend six months of TASC treatment, adults caught smoking pot in public would face only a $300 fine.

Legalizing and taxing cannabis in Arizona would bring tens of millions in revenue to state schools.EXPAND
Legalizing and taxing cannabis in Arizona would bring tens of millions in revenue to state schools.
Coaster420

4. The unregulated selling any amount of marijuana would remain a felony – but no worse than the felony it is now. Operating an unregulated cannabis retail or cultivation business from an apartment was never going to work as a career, anyway.

21 Reasons AZFMR Supporters Should Vote for Marijuana Policy Project Initiative

3. AZFMR leaders say I-08 would cause an increase in black-market sales and cultivation – but that's not what's happened in Colorado, where authorities say that more than half of the state's cannabis demand is now met with regulated, legal sources.

Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have all legalized marijuana for all adults 21 and older — will Arizona be next?
Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have all legalized marijuana for all adults 21 and older — will Arizona be next?
Safer Arizona

2. Arizona schools would receive an estimated $72 million a year or more in revenue from taxed, legal cannabis sales that they will not receive if AZFMR supporters help shoot down the initiative.

Home cannabis cultivation could be a widespread hobby in Arizona next year.
Home cannabis cultivation could be a widespread hobby in Arizona next year.
Plantlady223

1. If the well-funded, MPP-backed measure goes down this year, Arizona cannabis supporters better hope for federal changes, because it'll probably be years before voters see another legalization initiative on the ballot.

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