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Arizona Supreme Court Allows Ballot To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

After the Arizona Supreme Court issued their dissent in the final legal challenge to the measure on Wednesday, the November ballot will feature...
  1. sativant

    After the Arizona Supreme Court issued their dissent in the final legal challenge to the measure on Wednesday, the November ballot will feature Proposition 205 -a voter initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The case had been thrown out after judge declared that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy did not have the proper right to file suite in order to try to stop the initiative. The Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry further rejected the suit, denouncing every reason detailed in the reports for blocking the initiative from appearing on the ballot.

    Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy claimed that the people and organizations that support the measure violated three separate statutes by utilizing "bait-and-switch tactics" that are deemed both illegal and unconstitutional. Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales affirmed Judge Jo Lynn Gentry's previous determinations and findings, stating that the law requirements regarding the initiative were complied with substantially within the Proposition 205 summary. Even though Bales was not in total agreeance with Gentry's use and interpretation of the 2015 law rewrite, Bales' upholding of the decision means that the proposition is permitted to be on the ballot and the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy does not have the power to stop it.

    If the measure is voted into law, adults who are 21 years of age or older are allowed to posses up to one ounce of marijuana and privately consume it. Adults are also permitted to grow up to 6 marijuana plants, with a limit of 12 per household. The marijuana plants must be grown inside an enclosed area, and the owner is allowed to possess the marijuana that is produced by the plants. The marijuana will be taxed at 15%, the same as alcohol, and the proceeds from the sales will do directly to the public schools and education programs in the state.

    More than 258,000 voters signed the petition in order to get the initiative on the ballot, so the ruling from the Supreme Court was more than favorable for the people who want to eliminate the prohibition on Marijuana in Arizona. 177,000 of those signatures were verified by the Secretary of State, but only 151,000 was needed required in order for the petition to qualify for ballot consideration. Now that the initiative is moving forward, the Supreme Court has set the precedent in Arizona that the people have the jurisdiction, right and power to make the final decision about the right to consume, possess and purchase marijuana.

    Now that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy can no longer block the initiative from a legal standpoint, he Arizona Chamber of Commerce and two prominent city attorneys are now shifting their focus on persuading voters to vote against the measure on the Phoenix Arizona and Tempe AZ dispensary ballot. They claim that citizens of the state have not received full disclosure of the 20-page proposition, and have not been advised of the changes to employment laws, DUI laws, child custody cases and various additional laws. The opposers vow to educate every voter about the intentional and unintentional impacts of Proposition 205. The also aim to encourage every voter to read the entire initiative before they vote and that they will see that the proposition is actually devastating to the system of the state.

    All of Phoenix Arizona medical marijuana laws for Responsible Drug Policy efforts did not go completely wasted. Even though all of the other revision requests were denied, a Maricopa County judge determined on Wednesday that there will be one amendment to the description of the ballot that will be read by voters in the booths in November. Unfortunately for them, the change was not in their favor. The current ballot description, written by the Secretary of State Michele Reagan reads that marijuana is legal for adults over 21. The revised edition will state that the legal age is 21 and older. Judge Blomo rejected the notion of including text that explains that a 15% tax would be imposed on marijuana to fund schools and enforcement measures, stating that the omittance of these details do not mislead voters and that the discretion of whether to include the language or leave it out is upto reagan.
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