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Gage Skidmore

Safer Arizona Files Adult-Use Initiative for 2018

Safer Arizona has filed an initiative with the Secretary of State’s office seeking to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state after the measure was narrowly defeated by voters during November’s General Election, according to a report from Cronkite News. Arizonans would have another chance at legalization if the advocates can collect 152,000 valid signatures from registered voters by July 1, 2018,

The Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act would legalize possession, use, consumption, and transportation of cannabis for adults 21 and older, create a regulated and taxed cannabis market, and allow the home growing of up to 48 plants. Additionally, the measure would provide relief for individuals with some previous cannabis convictions, and seeks to provide protection for parental custody rights and for firearm owners. It also includes language that would prevent the state from “re-implementing cannabis prohibition and conspiring with other governments to enforce cannabis prohibition laws.”

“This is what people are getting at when they go for cannabis legalization,” Dave Wisniewski, chairman of Safer Arizona, said in the report. “Everything that has passed so far has been investor driven and doesn’t take on the whole problem.”

Chuck Coughlin, president of HighGround, a public affairs firm, said Proposition 205, which was the only state cannabis measure to be rejected by voters last November, was poorly crafted and put to voters too soon – Arizona passed their medical cannabis laws in 2010.

“It is a dramatic amount of change in a short amount of time,” he said. “Other places had medicinal legalized for some time before full legalization.”

Wisniewski indicated that the new proposal sets caps on the general sales tax, allows more plants per home grow, and places the regulation under the state Department of Agriculture rather than creating a whole new agency.

“Prop. 205 was legitimately a very flawed law. There was a large population of cannabis consumers who voted ‘no’ on it,” Wisniewski said. “I don’t believe Arizona voted down Prop. 205 because they didn’t want marijuana.”

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