Vote YES on Prop 207
On November 3rd, 2020, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act will be on the general election ballot as Proposition 207.
This ballot initiative would legalize, regulate, and tax adult-use of recreational marijuana in the state of Arizona.
With priorities on education, public safety, public health, and critical infrastructure, this initiative creates opportunities for new revenue and employment in our great state, without compromising principals.
Please join us in voting YES on this important piece of legislation.
"The data from other states that have passed similar initiatives shows higher rates of kids using marijuana." - Warren Peterson, Arizona House of Representatives
Studies have shown that youth marijuana use actually decreases in states where marijuana has been legalized. For example, Colorado teens had a statistically significant drop in marijuana use in the three years since recreational legalization.
"The marijuana industry fooled us into voting for the medical marijuana act when they said it was for compassionate care for those who are terminally ill and dying. Now most the marijuana card holders are young men under 40." - Bernice Carver, Flagstaff
56.1% of medical marijuana patients in Arizona are over the age of 40, with 100% reporting medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis c, seizures, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and Chron's disease.
"The legalization of marijuana has proven to be disastrous in other states where legalized already." - Vicki Browning Vaughn, Paradise Valley
In states with legalized marijuana, alcohol sales have dropped 20%, police no longer have to spend time on marijuana related arrests and therefore have been able to solve more violence and property crimes, and youth marijuana use amongst teenagers has decreased.
"In Colorado, marijuana related traffic deaths increased 109% since marijuana was legalized - resulting in one person killed every three days from marijuana DUI drivers. In Washington, fatalities among drivers using marijuana have more than doubled since legalization." - Todd Griffith, Forensic Scientist
Studies show that three years after recreational marijuana legalization, changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.
"Arizonans need examine no further than Colorado, California, and Washington State when considering casting their vote. In all three states homelessness is up, way up." - Jeff Taylor, Phoenix
In 2017, the number of homeless individuals in both Colorado and Washington were actually lower than they were in 2007, before legalization. Additionally, the data suggests that factors other than marijuana legalization (i.e. increases in housing costs and the cost of living) are responsible for any changes in the rates of homelessness, as other states where marijuana is not legal experienced large increases in homelessness, such as Idaho and Wyoming.
"This initiative wasn't written by hippies who want to get high; it was written by businessmen who want to make money getting your kids started on drugs." - Ed Gogek, M.D., Prescott
The Smart and Safe Act was actually developed by Arizona moms, dads, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, small business owners, corporate executives, educators, health care professionals, police officers, and prosecutors. It's truly an initiative designed by the people, for the people.
"This initiative does nothing to keep stoned drivers off the road. It actually eliminates current law criminalizing driving with THC in one's system, and it offers nothing to prevent impaired driving." - Cindy Dahlgren, Scottsdale
Penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana would actually go up under this initiative, and millions of dollars in funding would be funneled toward drug treatment and mental health programs.
"When individuals suffering from pre-existing medical conditions use marijuana in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms, ultimately this worsens their conditions over time." - Bruce and Kat Bramblett, Sedona
Studies show that cancer patients who regularly used medical cannabis actually saw improvements with multiple symptoms over time, including nausea, sleep disorder, loss of appetite, restlessness, anxiety, depression, pruritus, and headaches. Additionally, the use of cannabis for pain management has been found to improve the quality of life for patients throughout all stages of cancer.
According to Smart and Safe Arizona, Proposition 207 was created to be the best policy with a measurable benefit to our state. Here's their statement on why it's the right choice for Arizonans:
1. The war on drugs failed. Marijuana is safest when it's sold in a taxed, tested, and regulated environment - not on a street corner.
2. Arizona is in financial crisis and we can't trust politicians to do the right thing. We have guaranteed, by law, that the money will fund Arizona's top priorities - education, public health, infrastructure, and public safety. At least $300 million annually will be pumped into these critical areas.
3. As parents, we know a well-regulated, licensed, legal environment is the best way to keep marijuana out of the hands of children - period. We set the legal age at 21, limited potency, required childproofed packaging, required products to be unattractive to kids and forbade advertising to youth.
4. We also banned smoking marijuana in public places and open spaces - imposing the toughest restrictions in the country.
5. Our streets will be safer. We increased penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana and gave departments funding for training, equipment and task forces. And, legalization will also free up our clogged criminal justice system to focus on serious crimes.
6. We also dedicate millions annually to state and local health departments for addiction prevention and treatment, suicide prevention, mental health programs, and justice reinvestment projects that create opportunities in disproportionately impacted communities.
Confused by the legal jargon in Proposition 207?
According to a breakdown by legislative council, Proposition 207 would:
1. Allow a person who is at least 21 years of age to lawfully possess and use one ounce or less of marijuana, including not more than 5 grams of marijuana concentrate (for example, hashish), as well as up to 6 marijuana plants at that person's primary residence. (Producing, possessing and using marijuana would remain illegal under existing federal law)
2. For a person who is under 21 years of age, reduce the penalties for unlawful use of marijuana to a civil penalty for the first violation, a petty offense for a second violation and a class 1 misdemeanor for subsequent violations.
3. In addition to the sales tax, impose a 16% excise tax on the retail sale of marijuana and marijuana products.
4. Transfer $45,000,000 from the medical marijuana fund for a variety of different programs and purposes, including the Arizona teachers academy, public health, traffic enforcement, education relating to legalizing marijuana, expunging certain criminal records and implementing a social equity ownership program.
5. Establish a petition process to expunge law enforcement and court records relating to arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions and sentences for specific marijuana-related drug offenses that occurred before the effective date of the measure.
According to a fiscal analysis by the joint legislative budget committee:
1. The initiative establishes a 16.0% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana and recreational marijuana products. Marijuana establishments would also pay licensing fees.
2. The tax and licensing fees are projected to generate $166 million in annual revenue after the program becomes more fully operational in the next several years.
3. Monies would be deposited into the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund (SSAF). SSAF monies would first be used to pay administrative costs of certain agencies. The remainder of these monies would then be distributed as follows:
33.0% to community colleges
31.4% to local law enforcement and fire departments
25.4% to the state and local transportation programs
10.0% to public health and criminal justice programs
0.2% to the Attorney General for enforcement
4. The regular sales tax would apply to recreational marijuana purchases. Annual state and local sales tax collections on these purchases may reach $88 million in the next several years. These monies would be available for general use.
Voting is your constitutional right, make sure your voice is heard.