Voters in Arizona have passed an initiative legalizing marijuana for adult use. Proposition 207 allows residents 21 years and above to cultivate no more than six plants.
According to the initiative, the legalization will channel 16 percent excise tax from cannabis sales toward school programs, fire departments, law enforcement, etc. Once implemented, the initiative will work towards clearing some of the cannabis-related convictions, easing the pressure off the justice system, and helping affected residents start over.
With regard to the disproportionate war on drugs, the initiative also reserves 26 licenses for applicants from the affected communities.
Arizona is one of the states that have recently joined the recreational cannabis movement, pushing the number to 15 states and D.C. The other recent newcomers are New Jersey, and South Dakota, Montana.
Arizona voters have had a long coming change of heart after rejecting the measure in the 2016 elections, leaving Maine, Nevada, California, and Massachusetts to move ahead with legalization.
After mixed support from residents earlier this year, the initiative appeared to attract more favor steadily as the elections approached. With only 51 percent in favor of the measure in September, the figure rose to 56 percent against 36 percent a month later, according to a poll by Monmouth University.
The state will now have both medicinal and recreational cannabis frameworks as it had approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010. According to a report by the Arizona Department of Health Services, the state has approximately 280,000 patients on medical cannabis. The majority of the patients qualify under the basis of chronic pain.
Arizona’s Proposition 207 campaign was funded by local medical cannabis firms, including multistate industry giants like Curaleaf and Harvest Health and Recreation. It’s assumed the legalization of recreational cannabis serves the interest of businesses already on the Arizona market.