After a court ruling rejected a challenge from prohibitionists to keep the initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona off the ballot, opponents of the measure made a last-ditch effort to deprive voters of their right to choose by alleging that the ballot language summary was misleading and the initiative should be invalidated.
On August 31, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the initiative summary was accurate and comprehensive enough to comply with state law, allowing it to proceed.
Unfortunately, a Maricopa County judge removed a critical element of the initiative from the summary. Voters in the ballot box on November 8 will see no mention of this important fact:
Revenue from the 15% tax on marijuana and marijuana products will be allocated to public health and education.
According to the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Prop 205 will raise approximately $123 million in annual revenue for the state and localities, with more than $55 million dedicated to full-day kindergarten programs and general aid to K-12 schools.
Ballot language normally describes where tax revenue is allocated. It’s regrettable that marijuana reform is being treated differently from other issues. The campaign intends to vigorously educate voters about this fact in the coming weeks.
Here is the complete final ballot language:
A “yes” vote shall have the effect of permitting individuals 21 years and older to privately use, possess, manufacture, give away, or transport up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 marijuana plants at the individual’s residence; generally declaring violations of the Act (including public use) a petty offense punishable by no more than a $300 fine; creating the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, which includes a 7- member Marijuana Commission appointed by the Governor, to regulate and license entities involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and testing marijuana products; granting local jurisdictions limited authority to enact ordinances and rules to regulate marijuana and marijuana products; establishing licensing fees for marijuana establishments and levying a 15% tax on all marijuana and marijuana products; and declaring all marijuana establishment contracts enforceable notwithstanding any conflict with federal law.
For more information, visit the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona.