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Rory Savatgy

Prohibitionists in Arizona Have More Cash on Hand than Pro-205 Campaign

Arizona’s anti-legalization campaign Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy have raised a little more than $2 million this election cycle in a bid to defeat Proposition 205 this November, according to a report from the Arizona Daily Star. The amount is short of the $3.2 million raised by proponents, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, but the prohibitionists currently have more cash on hand, likely gearing up for a last-minute media buy.

According to campaign finance filings with the Secretary of State’s Office, the pro-205 campaign has less than $170,000 on-hand — likely due to spending to get the initiative on the ballot in the first place. The anti-205 campaign has about $1.4 million on-hand and the cash differential could be crucial as Election Day approaches.

Adam Deguire, spokesman for Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, said they plan on using the funds for television ads in order to try and convince voters that the recreational initiative is far different from the medical marijuana initiative approved in 2010, and that there are things in the proposition that even those who support legalized cannabis might not want. He argues that by making cannabis more accessible to adults, the measure makes it more accessible to minors.

“This isn’t necessarily a fight about marijuana,” Deguire said in the report. “No one’s arguing here whether marijuana has medicinal purposes. We’re arguing whether it should be legalized recreationally.”

Proponents point out that Prop 205 outlaws the sale of cannabis-infused edibles that might be attractive to children, such as candy bars and lollipops, and that taxes collected from the sector will benefit education.

According to our aggregate of polling data, legalization is narrowly supported by more than 50 percent of Arizonans, with 44 percent opposed.

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