Arizona voters are considering what is called the “Smart and Safe Arizona Act” on the General Election ballot this fall.
This is a citizen initiative that provides for the “responsible adult use, regulation and taxation of marijuana.”
Arizona law has provided for medicinal use of marijuana extracts for several years. In 2016 a previous attempt to pass an initiative to allow recreational use failed at the ballot box.
Currently 11 states in the U.S. allow recreational use of marijuana, three of those border Arizona – California, Nevada and Colorado. Others are Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Massachusetts, Michigan, Vermont, Illinois and Maine, as well as District of Colombia.
The Smart and Safe Arizona Act states that the initiative is “in the interest of the efficient use of law enforcement resources, enhancing revenue for public purposes, and individual freedom, the responsible adult use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance.”
The initiative specifically provides for funding for the following:
*Arizona Teachers Academy.
*A department to be established to fund the formation and operation of councils, commissions and programs dedicated to improving public health, including teen suicide prevention, the maternal mortality review program, improving youth health, substance abuse prevention, addressing adverse childhood experiences, the poison control system, the Arizona Health Improvement plan, the Child Fatality review team and chronic pain self-management program.
*Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to provide grants for reducing impaired driving, and equipment training and personnel dedicated to traffic enforcement.
*Funding to implement, carry out and enforcement of portions of the initiative
*Grants to qualified non-profits that provide outreach and support to individuals who may be