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Posted on April 19, 2016 in Drugs

Arizona Marijuana Legalization – What are the Potential Propositions that Could Appear on the 2016 Ballot?

Right now, the legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a hot topic in Arizona. As more and more states move to legalize it, Arizona citizens are wondering if our state will be next to make a change. Here are five important potential Arizona marijuana ballot propositions you need to be aware of before you vote in 2016.

Industrial Hemp Farming Initiative

If this industrial hemp farming initiative passes the November 8 ballot, an industrial hemp committee would be established within the Arizona Department of Agriculture. The committee would allow hemp farming throughout the state by registered persons who have the required permit. The goal of this initiative is to regulate industrial hemp production to ensure that government standards are followed.

This measure also calls for the department to administer an industrial hemp research grant so higher education institutions can develop strains of hemp best suited for industrial applications. State institutions of higher learning will care out these programs and will be supervised and regulated by the department.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Fee Waiver Initiative

Currently, there is an Arizona state marijuana application fee for people who receive medical marijuana. If the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Fee Waiver initiative passes, it would eliminate this fee and increase access to medical marijuana. Its aim is to increase tax revenue generated from medical marijuana sales by producing more carded patients and making it easier to gain access to medical marijuana.

Re-Legalize All Drugs Initiative

Re-Legalize All Drugs Initiative aims to pass a state constitutional amendment to legalize all drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, LSD, peyote, and marijuana. To appear in the 2016 ballot, this initiative would need to acquire 225,963 signatures by July 7, 2016. Under this initiative, Arizona would recognize that drugs and drug abuse are not criminal acts and are medical problems that are to be solved by the person using the drugs, not the government.

The goal of this initiative is to remove drug use from the roster of what constitutes criminal activity, thus removing any threat of arrest, imprisonment, fines, and asset forfeiture if caught using drugs. It also moves to clear the criminal records of any person who had been convicted of any drug offense in the past. Any prosecutor who interferes with drug rights as defined by this initiative would liable for a minimum of $1 million in damages or 10 times the actual amount of damages.

Re-Legalize Marijuana Initiative

Similar to the above mentioned Re-Legalize All Drugs Initiative, this initiative moves to re-legalize marijuana, and take any use or abuse of marijuana out of the hands of law enforcement. It would define marijuana use as a medical problem to be solved by the person using, and not by the government. Its provisions are similar to those in the Re-Legalize All Drugs Initiative, but only encompass marijuana. It would prevent all government agencies from taxing or regulating marijuana.

Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act Initiative

This initiative, which may appear on the ballot as a state statute, would legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by anyone 21 years of age or older. It would permit people to grow up to six plants in their homes. A new Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control in Arizona would regulate the manufacturing, cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana, and would levy a 15% tax on all marijuana purchases. These taxes would be used for education and health care. You can read about the support, opposition, background, and notable events of this initiative here.

For legal advice surrounding the topic of marijuana use in the state of Arizona, request a free consultation with Orent Law Offices, a professional team of drug crimes attorneys knowledgeable about the intricate laws surrounding drug crimes in our state, dedicated to defending your case. If you’ve been arrested for the use or possession of drugs, don’t panic. Craig Orent has more than 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. Call us today at (480) 656-7301.