Legalized marijuana should not be a choice of the people, lawmaker says, but it will be up to voters, says Rose Law Group Partner Ryan Hurley

Rep. Mark Cardenas / Photo by Matthew Longdo, Cronkite News
Rep. Mark Cardenas / Photo by Matthew Longdo, Cronkite News

By Howard Fischer |Capitol Media Services/Arizona Capitol Times

He admits the plan is a political longshot.

But Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix, hopes to convince colleagues to approve legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults, if for no other reason than the alternative is having voters adopt their own plan. And if that happens, that locks lawmakers out of the process entirely.

His legislation, HB 2007, would make it legal for those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of the drug.

Those who want to partake would be able to purchase it from state-regulated retail outlets. That would require paying whatever is the going rate — plus a $50-an-ounce tax. Legislative budget analysts, looking at a similar plan last session, estimated the levy could generate more than $48 million a year based on anticipated recreational sales through these shops of 950,000 ounces a year.

Continued:

Comment by Rose Law Group Partner Ryan Hurley:

“A majority of Arizona citizens clearly want a different approach to marijuana than the failed policy of prohibition. It is refreshing that some brave legislators are beginning to wake up to this reality. Unfortunately, it appears that the people will likely have to force the issue on the 2016 ballot instead.

Rep. Mark Cardenas / Photo by Matthew Longdo, Cronkite News

 

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