By Associated Press
(AP) — Arizona voters will decide whether the state joins nearly a dozen others across the nation that have legalized recreational marijuana when they head to the polls on Nov. 3.
The measure known as Proposition 207 would let people 21 and older possess up to an ounce of marijuana or a smaller quantity of concentrates, allow for the sale of recreational marijuana at licensed dispensaries, and for residents to grow their own cannabis plants.
Prop 207, previously called the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, would impose a modest 16% excise tax on pot, on top of the standard sales tax that goes to state and local governments.
The proceeds from the excise tax, which the Legislature’s budget analysts estimate will bring in $166 million a year once the marijuana market matures, would go to community colleges, local police and fire agencies, local and state transportation projects and public health and criminal justice programs. Including state and local sales taxes, the analysis estimates $255 million a year in new revenue.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Chad Campbell, chairman of the committee backing the measure. “At the end of the day we’re going to mitigate the black market, we’re going to make the market safer and we’re going to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue for programs that all Arizonans support – community colleges, roads, local public safety issues.”
Currently, people can be convicted of DUI if they have any level of marijuana “metabolites” in their system. Those chemicals can be detected as long as a month after someone uses, meaning that finding them doesn’t mean someone is impaired. Prop 207 would slightly revise the state’s marijuana DUI law.
“We just mirror current DUI laws in terms of impairment,” Campbell