To legalize, or not to legalize. That may soon be the question facing Arizona voters as the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana is reported to have filed more than 250,000 signatures to place the issue on the ballot in November.
Under the measure, adults age 21 and older can carry up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults can also cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed space and possess the marijuana produced by the plants. No more than dozen plants total would be allowed in a single residence.
The system would regulate pot like alcohol where a 15 percent tax would be imposed on all retail marijuana sales. Most of the revenue from that tax would go to Arizona schools and education programs.
KPNX-TV in Phoenix recently put together a short video on the push to legalize pot. Click here or on the picture below to watch it.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) Board of Directors recently released a statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana. This has nothing to do with judging how Arizonans want to spend their free time and far more to do with our beliefs around better health and healthcare. AzHHA President & CEO Greg Vigdor said, “Arizona already faces considerable public health challenges, especially when it comes to substance abuse. Expanding access to recreational marijuana will only exacerbate these issues.” Click here to read the entire AzHHA statement.
A major point with us is to pull back and see how things go in other states before trying this experiment in Arizona. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia have all legalized recreational marijuana. And there are ballot measures pending in other states like California and Nevada. So we believe this is an opportunity for us to learn from others before jumping in ourselves.
Whether you agree or disagree, we’d love to hear what you think. We may not always agree but if we are willing to keep the dialogue open about the important health issues facing the people of Arizona – that’s a sure sign that we are willing to work together. And working together is key to our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!