Arizona often bucks the national trend and that was pretty clear again on election night. Four of the five states that had initiatives to allow the use of recreational marijuana on the ballot…..approved the measure. The lone holdout – was Arizona.
Voters in several states across the nation decided their residents should have more access to marijuana — except Arizona.
Unofficial totals from Tuesday’s election show Proposition 205 failing by more than 80,000 votes out of more than 1.9 million ballots cast.
AzCentral.com added, “As 50 million people woke up Wednesday in states where voters had just legalized marijuana, supporters of Arizona’s Proposition 205 were hit with a post-election buzzkill: It appeared the state’s recreational marijuana initiative had failed.”
TucsonNewsNow.com quoted Annie Vogt, Spokesperson, No on Prop 205 as saying, “From the beginning, our goal was to tell the truth. In so doing, we were able to expose and discredit the unfounded and dishonest narrative that legalizing recreational marijuana would lead to better schools and safer communities. In reality, Prop 205 was never about funding education or protecting Arizonans – it was about special interests peddling bad policy in hopes of lining their pockets.”
Supporters of the initiative believe it will be back on the ballot again – perhaps as soon as 2018.
As you likely know by now, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) partnered with the opposition campaign and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce in opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana. Our opposition had 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.”
Share your thoughts on what this vote means to the people of our state and how it affects health and healthcare in Arizona. Generating conversations around key health issues is important to us because we believe those conversations can help drive our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!