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Legalization Initiative Launched In Arizona


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 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Launched in Arizona

Arizona could become the third state to legalize recreational marijuana.  On Tuesday, supporters filed the measure with the Secretary of State’s Office.  The measure is similar to those in Washington and Colorado, allowing adults age 21 and over to legally grow, possess, and use marijuana.

Dennis Bohlke, a member of Safer Arizona, explained, “The intent of the initiative is to legalize marijuana in Arizona and to treat it as we treat alcohol.”


Now that the measure has been filed, supporters have until July 3, 2014 to gather 259,213 valid signatures of support in order to get the measure onto the 2014 ballot.


So far the group lacks major funding and will rely on volunteers to gather signatures.  Bohlke acknowledged that this could pose difficulties for the group, but they strongly believe in the importance of legalization.


Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who has challenged the legality of state’s medical marijuana program, said legalizing marijuana “would run afoul of the same supremacy clause issues that Arizona’s medical-marijuana program faces.” The constitutional clause says that when state and federal laws are at odds, federal law prevails. Marijuana use is illegal under federal law.


A state court judge has rejected that argument, but the ruling is being appealed.


Bholke believes the group will be able to collect enough signatures to get the measure onto the ballot.  He said, “I’m feeling quite confident that we’ll be able to get the 259,213 signatures.”  Then the people of Arizona would be able to decide whether legalization is the right move



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