Rep. Ruben Gallego has introduced HB 2558, which would end the prohibition of marijuana in Arizona. The bill would allow adults to use, possess, and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana with no penalty, and set up a taxed and regulated market for marijuana production and sale.
Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient, and problematic as alcohol prohibition. Poll after poll after poll has shown that Americans are ready for a new, more sensible approach. By regulating adult use, the state can generate much-needed revenue for the state budget, replace the underground market with regulated businesses, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crime.
Additionally, the state can save a staggering amount of taxpayer money in the process. In 2010, there were 16,631 arrests for marijuana possession, according to statistics provided by state law enforcement to the FBI. That same year, according to recent research conducted by the ACLU, the state spent nearly $86 million enforcing marijuana possession laws. It’s time for a better approach in Arizona.