[OP-ED] Why recreational marijuana is a defining moment for Arizona

Dr. William D. Troutt, is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who specializes in cannabis-based medicine and treatment | Photo via Harvesting Hope

By Dr. William Troutt| Phoenix Business Journal

On Nov. 3, 2020, Arizona citizens voted in support of Prop 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, that most people know by the term, “recreational marijuana.” When we think of the term “recreation,” synonyms like fun, enjoyment, and pleasure come to mind. However, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act is much more profound, going beyond what the term recreational marijuana would suggest by focusing on the repair of political, social, and economic issues.

The act expands the previously limited legal use of marijuana for severe and specific medical conditions to include all responsible adult use. The intent was not just to restore civil rights and freedom of choice but more broadly to address major consequences of cannabis prohibition, including Arizona prisons overcrowding with nonviolent offenders, economic and social barriers stemming from a felony conviction, racial and economic disparities in the justice system, friction between our law enforcement and communities, disallowance of a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco use, as well as our lack of resources for treatment of substance abuse.

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December 2020