Arizonans are voting to legalize the use of recreational cannabis with Proposition 207. This has been an issue not only focused on the state level, but now, on a national level.
Prop. 207 is on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. If passed, it would decriminalize cannabis, also known as marijuana, for recreational use for those 21 and older. It would also tax cannabis at 16%. It is expected the tax would generate $166 million in annual tax revenue after a few years of a fully functional program.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, has sponsored the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. This bill is to be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances.
“Racially-motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionally impacted communities of color. It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide and work to view marijuana use as an issue of personal choice and public health, not criminal behavior,” Nadler said when first announcing legislation.
This legalization of cannabis has long been a debate on both the federal and state levels as more states like California, Colorado and Nevada have classified it as a recreational drug. In total, 11 states recognize marijuana as a recreational substance.
The House vote, originally scheduled for September, has been pushed back until after the election.
The funds from this tax would be disbursed to community colleges, local law enforcement, state transportation programs and public health programs; this would allow for increased enforcement and education.
Cannabis has been embraced for its health benefits, specifically with pain management.
“It has been shown to help epilepsy by decreasing seizures, it has also been known to help with insomnia and cancer pain,” said Dr. Barry Berger. Berger practices internal medicine in the Phoenix area.
Cannabis use for