Arizona voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana products Tuesday, allowing individuals over 21 to legally possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and smaller quantities of concentrates, The Associated Press reported.
Proposition 207 followed four years after a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use was defeated, the AP reported. Republican lawmakers previously rejected changes to the state’s strict marijuana laws.
“This shows they’ve been out of step on this issue in two ways in terms of people’s opinions about the product itself and the personal use of this product and, secondly, just the need for criminal justice reform in Arizona,” Proposition 207 Committee Chairman Chad Campbell said, the AP reported.
Legal marijuana is becoming the American norm as ballot measures passed Tuesday in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota https://t.co/HZxuAhNtiN
— Bloomberg (@business) November 4, 2020
Nearly 60% of individuals voted in favor of Proposition 207, with just over 40% of people voting against the measure, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s unofficial tally of results with 99% of precincts reporting.
The measure will be instituted after the election results are certified, which takes around a month, the AP reported. The proposition legalizes retail sales of marijuana and allows people to grow plants.
A 16% excise tax on marijuana under the Smart and Safe Arizona Act could add a predicted $255 million in new revenue when combined with sales tax annually, the AP reported. The funds will go to police and fire agencies, public health and criminal justice systems, and transportation projects.
Supporters of the proposition said legalization would reduce smuggling and illegal sales while advocating quality control through state testing, the AP reported. Opponents argued that legalization would increase teen use and make roads and workplaces less safe.
“It’s going to be very important, especially for parents and employers, to really read carefully, understand that this is higher potency marijuana that is going to be available, and their options are going to be limited now that it has been legalized,” Arizonans for Health and Public Safety spokeswoman Lisa James said, the AP reported.
New Jersey and South Dakota voters also approved the recreational use of marijuana in the general election Tuesday, the AP reported. Medicinal marijuana propositions passed in South Dakota and Mississippi.
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