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Confusion Over Home Cultivation in Arizona Recreational Cannabis Initiative

An Arizona cannabis legalization petition expected to be on the November ballot has been the subject of some scrutiny after there was confusion about whether cities would be allowed to ban home cultivation of the plant.

Under the proposed measure, adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to six plants per person or a maximum of 12 per household.

According to Ryan Hurley, a lawyer for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona (CRMLA), which is backing the initiative, municipalities would not be able to ban home cultivation.

The confusion over the petition’s implications arose when Carlos Alfaro, the Arizona Political Director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which sponsors CRMLA, stated in a video that cities would in fact be allowed to ban home growing. In the video, Alfaro says that “In the law, it says that they have the authority to do [ban home cultivation]… If the city does not want . . . the sales or the home cultivation in there, they are able to do that.”

Tom Dean, a lawyer who supports another, more liberal proposal from Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, cites the portion of the initiative stating that cities would be allowed to “enact reasonable ordinances or rules that are not in conflict with this act” in arguing the same.

But a statement from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns dispels this argument. Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League, reviewed the proposal at the request of the Phoenix New Times:

“The short answer is the type of home grow operations that are allowed now under the medical marijuana initiative will continue to be allowed if the Act passes. The Act clearly states that aside from a few provisions, it does not affect any laws relating to medical marijuana, which currently allows home grow operations.”

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