Pot Fight: Safer Arizona's Supporters Take to Social Media to Defend Their Cause
Courtesy of David Wisniewski
Is Safer Arizona promoting legalization, or standing in the way of it?
And does a Wednesday Phoenix New Times article reflect division in Arizona's pro-cannabis community, or perpetuate it?
Online opinions and criticism flew like food in a rowdy eighth-grade cafeteria after publication of the article, which covered the fractured feelings over Safer Arizona's 2018 adult-use legalization initiative.
David Wisniewski, chairman and spokesman for Safer Arizona, and some of the group's followers took umbrage with the way sources in the article characterized them and their campaign. Wisniewski even made an hour-long Facebook video in response to the article that he posted on Safer Arizona's website, arguing in part that there really wasn't much division among legalization supporters.
"We're getting support from dispensaries, certification centers, smoke shops, and periphery companies," he said in the video. We're getting support from a whole lot of different areas. And this split you're talking about, Ray, is nothing close to the split over Prop 205."
Arguably, though, the split may be worse this time if it denies voters a choice by failing to make the ballot.
The rift is over how to best implement cannabis legalization in Arizona.
Safer Arizona's initiative aims to make marijuana barely less legal than broccoli, with unrestricted possession and cultivation rules that allow citizens to turn their homes into commercial growing operations that local governments could do little about.
The wealthy dispensary industry, as a whole, won't get behind the initiative out of fear of competition. More mainstream legalization supporters worry that pouring money and effort into the initiative would be a waste of resources.
Here's a sample of some of the debate that went down in the past 24 hours on Facebook. (Note: The comments are not listed here in chronological order, but we think you'll get the point.) You can click on the embedded links to read the whole threads, if you need to waste more time on Facebook than you already were.
Click below for Wisniewski's hour-long video, then scroll below that for Ray Stern's video response (not an hour) from Wednesday night:
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