Medical Marijuana Heads Back to Arizona Ballot
Arizona voters will have yet another chance to vote on whether they want medicinal marijuana legalized in this state, thanks to the efforts of a statewide advocacy group that's collected hundreds of thousands of signatures over the last several months.
Only 153,356 signatures were needed to get the measure on the November ballot, but the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project turned more than 250,000 petitions into the Secretary of State's Office last month, and it's now been confirmed by that office that the initiative will go to the voters in November.
The use of medical marijuana has been approved by Arizona voters twice in the last 15 years, but in each case, the wording of the measure prevented it from becoming law.
We spoke to AMMPP campaign manager Andrew Myers in April about past problems with the law, and he says they shouldn't be a problem this time around.
"We have the benefit of experience now," he says.
Some of the problems that Myers says are now ironed out are the issue of how to tax the marijuana, certain regulations that dictate where the weed can be smoked, and the number of marijuana dispensaries -- which, he says, are several of the problems facing California's medical-marijuana program.
"Right now, in Los Angeles, there are more marijuana dispensaries than there are Starbucks," Myers says.
Under the guidelines of the new initiative, the number of dispensaries would be limited to about 120 statewide, and smokers would only be allowed to smoke in a private place, not at the dispensaries.
"[Medical marijuana] is overwhelmingly supported in Arizona," Myers says. "In the past, voters have supported it, and polls show that about 65 percent of voters would support it this time."
For more information on the initiative and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, click here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.