Petitions delivered for vote to legalize recreational marijuana in state

Employees of Petition Partners deliver paperwork Wednesday with about 430,000 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults. /Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral

Backers of a campaign to legalize recreational use of marijuana submitted about 420,000 signatures on petitions Wednesday to put the issue on the November ballot.

The filing by Smart and Safe Arizona is far more than the 237,645 valid signatures needed to send the issue to voters. That provides plenty of wiggle room if some of the petitions are declared invalid.

But it becomes only the first step in trying to convince Arizonans once again that they want to allow adults to buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana or 12 plants.

A similar measure failed four years ago by about 4 percentage points amid an extensive campaign over whether easier access by adults leads to greater teen use. There also was a fear by employers that it would allow workers to show up on the job still under the effects.

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