While initiatives to reform public drug policies in the United States are largely hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, pro-legalization activists in Arizona have announced that they have collected enough signatures to present their cannabis legalization project for a vote in November.
The Smart and Safe Arizona campaign has collected more than 320,000 signatures, about 80,000 more than needed.
The group has until 2 July to continue gathering support, although the signature collection campaign has been suspended in order to curb the VID19 epidemic.
The proposed legalization of cannabis in Arizona would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess and purchase cannabis from authorized retailers, up to a limit of one ounce (28g) at a time, and to grow up to six plants for personal use.
The text also contains several social justice provisions, such as allowing people who have already been convicted of cannabis use to apply to have their criminal records erased and establishing a social equity program for licensing.
Cannabis sales would be taxed at 16%. The resulting revenue would cover the costs of implementing legalization and would then be divided among funds for community colleges, infrastructure, a reinvestment injustice and public services such as police and firefighters.
The Ministry of Health Services would be responsible for regulating the program and issuing commercial cannabis licenses. It would also be responsible for deciding whether to expand the program to allow, for example, delivery services, which are particularly important in times of containment.
In 2016, a measure to legalize cannabis had already been proposed in Arizona and rejected by voters.