Efforts to legalize cannabis are spreading quickly around the country right now. Vermont recently signed a bill into law, and states like New Jersey are preparing to vote on referendums in November. Add Arizona to that list, as residents prepare to vote on Proposition 207.
According to a report from ABC 15 in Arizona, experts predict the vote could go either way, with the final result ending up in a slim margin for the winner. The report noted that the state voted on a similar measure in 2016, which failed to pass. However, supporters are much more optimistic in 2020. According to ABC 15, Arizona residents have now had four years to see the benefits of recreational cannabis in other states.
"I think Arizona is ready. I think the initiative is the right one for Arizona and I think people can see it," Lilach Mazor Power, the owner, and founder of the Giving Tree Dispensary, told ABC 15.
Power told ABC 15 that most neighboring states to Arizona have legalized cannabis. Moreover, the state has a decade worth of experience with the legalization of medical cannabis.
"I think people have seen that the skies have not fallen over. Those against it are using the same old arguments they did last time with medical marijuana and I think people have seen none of that has been a concern," said Power to ABC 15.
Power noted that the cannabis industry is growing. Her dispensary is preparing for customers by ramping up production in hopes that the initiative passes. She told reporters that she has bought more extraction machines, and plans to grow more cannabis and hire more employees as well.
According to Power, recreational marijuana won’t affect the medical cannabis industry in Arizona. She told ABC 15 that residents will still need medical marijuana cards if they want higher doses to medicate themselves.
"Those with a card would be able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of their medicine. Those without a card can only buy one ounce at a time," said Power in an interview with ABC 15.
Some worry that Prop 207 could have a detrimental effect on quality-of-life issues in Arizona.
"In Colorado, you've got more impaired drivers on the road. You've got more babies with THC in their system. In Washington and Oregon you've got drivers admitting they're driving around stoned every single day," said Lisa James with Arizonans for Health and Public Safety in an interview with ABC 15.
Decrim comes to the University of Wisconsin
The Badger Herald reports that Alders, who represent the University of Wisconsin campus and downtown area in Madison, Wisconsin, proposed new city ordinances to decriminalize cannabis. If passed, they would allow individuals 18 years or older to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis on private or public property with the owner's permission.
“The structure of fines and fees in this city effectively criminalizes poverty and often criminalizes homelessness,” District 8 Ald. Max Prestigiacomo said in an email statement to The Cap Times. “Compounding and successive fees coupled with restricting where consumption is allowed are direct causes of this injustice.”