Quantcast
Connect with us

Arizona lawmaker proposes legalizing recreational marijuana

Published

on

Woman smoking marijuana (Shutterstock)

An Arizona Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill to make marijuana legal for recreational use by adults, but it is expected to face tough opposition in the conservative southwestern U.S. state.

If the bill is voted down in the legislature, it could serve as an opening salvo to put a legalization ballot measure before voters, State Representative Mark Cardenas, who introduced the measure, said on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Arizona is one of 23 states that allow medical marijuana. Voters in four states have opted to legalize its recreational use, with Oregon and Alaska making that move last year after Colorado and Washington state approved it in 2012.

The Arizona bill, which was submitted on Dec. 30 and which Cardenas acknowledges is a long shot, would allow people 21 years or older to buy and possess up to an ounce of pot, and a $50 per ounce tax would be placed on the marijuana sold at state-sanctioned dispensaries.

The tax would generate about $48 million annually, according to estimates by the state Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

“This is my way of thinking of a new and exciting way for us to close the (state) budget shortfall that is out there,” said Cardenas, who works in a state legislature dominated by Republicans. “This would help.”

A similar measure died last session without being heard.

ADVERTISEMENT

A spokesman for Arizona House Republicans declined to offer immediate comment on the bill.

Arizona is one of five states targeted by the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest pot policy organization, for putting recreational-use ballot initiatives on the 2016 ballot, a spokesman said. Also on the list are California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine.

On Monday, the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana released a report pointing to increased use of pot in Colorado and Washington state since the drug was given state sanction.

ADVERTISEMENT

Legalization opponents say the two states have been flooded with dangerous products, such as infused candies and concentrates, many far stronger than what might have been smoked in the 1960s.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Walsh)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

John Oliver explains how Dems can bring the pain to Mitch McConnell — even if he wins re-election

Published

on

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver returned to his Sunday show, fresh off of an Emmy win, to explain how the United States got so incredibly f*cked up.

Oliver began by remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and noting that her seat will be taken over by a far-right conservative justice who will unmake healthcare, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights and more things Americans have indicated they want.

He played a clip of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) claiming that America is a "center-right" country, which Oliver called outright "bullsh*t." Not only do Americans overwhelming support reproductive freedom, they also support LGBTQ equality. At the same time, Americans also believe, overwhelmingly, that President Donald Trump shouldn't be allowed to appoint the next justice.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump campaign blames Dems for ex-campaign manager Parscale’s reported self-harm threat

Published

on

The Trump campaign is blaming "Democrats and disgruntled RINOs" for the reported self-harm threat of its former campaign manager Brad Parscale.

"The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they've done to this man and his family," said Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh.

Statement from ?@realDonaldTrump? Campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh pic.twitter.com/NKuJrtmImz

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Former Army prosecutor explains why Trump will ‘get laughed out of court’ if he tries to steal the election

Published

on

Democrats are still panicking about the plots that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party seem to be cooking up to circumvent the people's vote in November.

Last week's shocking piece in The Atlantic detailed how electors in Pennsylvania could be manipulated to deliver Trump the vote despite ballots to the contrary. After President George W. Bush's campaign convincing the Supreme Court to stop Florida from counting the 2000 election ballots, there is a fear that Trump too could manipulate the courts to get his Supreme Court justices to deliver him a win.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE