Six Possible Pot-Related Ballot Measures You Should Know About
By Ray Stern
Monday, June 8, 2015
A lot of high hopes are riding on the November 2016 general election in Arizona.
Paperwork for no fewer than six marijuana-related ballot measures has been filed with the state Secretary of State's Office in the last few months, with each measure aiming to make fundamental changes to the state's drug laws.
Only two or three are actually viable, most likely. Each needs to gather about 150,000 signatures, a formidable and expensive task.
But if you come across petition gatherers asking for your signature on any of them, here are the basics you need to know:
1) Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
* Sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project, the same group that brought medical marijuana to Arizona in 2010.
* Creates state-regulated system of retail cannabis stores.
* Limits: Up to one ounce of buds and up to five grams of concentrated cannabis okay to possess by adults 21 and older. Possession of between one and 2.5 ounces to become a civil offense with a $300 fine and no increased penalty for each violation. Grow up to six plants per person, or 12 per household.
2) Campaign to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana
* Sponsored by activist Jason Medar and Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, a group of cannabis activists who want a more permissive law than what MPP is offering. Related Stories
Poll: 53 Percent of Arizonans Back Legalizing Marijuana
* Measure is 20 pages and has a regulatory scheme similar to MPP's.
* Makes it easier for would-be small-time cannabis entrepreneurs to exist alongside a system of retail stores.
* Limits: Up to one ounce legal for adults 21 and older. No distinction or special limit placed on concentrated marijuana — an ounce of shatter is as legal as an ounce of buds. Possession of between 2.5 and eight ounces for sale drops from a felony to a misdemeanor. Can grow up to 12 plants per person.
3) Arizona Industrial Hemp Farming Act
* Sponsored by HOW Arizona, a Gilbert group represented by Christian Carrasco and Brittany Rose Murphy.
* Legalizes production and sale of hemp for industrial and research use. No apparent limits on number of plants or acres planted.
* Hemp is defined as a cannabis sativa plant registered as having no more than one-third of 1 percent of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Hemp can't get people high, but it can be used to make a large range of products.
* Establishes an Industrial Hemp Committee in Arizona to help manage things.
4) Medical-Marijuana Dispensary Fee Waiver
* Sponsored by the Arizona Marijuana Patient Society, an Apache Junction committee chaired by Timothy B. Cronin.
* Eliminates the annual fee charged by the Arizona Department of Health Services for a medical-marijuana registration card. Currently, food-stamp recipients pay $75 a year, while everyone else pays $150.
* Sponsored by Mike Ross of Tempe and "RAD1 - ReLegalize All Drugs." [The sponsor of the initiative is incorrectly listed as RAD1 when it should be just RAD]
* Seeks to create a constitutional amendment that eliminates all laws related to marijuana.
* Prohibits any government regulation of marijuana or cannabis products, whether for consumption, cultivation or sale.
* Releases all marijuana offenders from jail or prison and clears the criminal records of anyone ever convicted of a marijuana-related offense.
* A second minimalist offering by Mike Ross of Tempe.
* In under two pages, the proposed initiative eliminates all laws and regulations of all drugs, including all street drugs (not just those in the title), prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs.
* Pardons all prior drug offenders and makes it illegal for any cop or government official to interfere with a person's "drug rights. To carry home its point, the measure would make police and government officials personally liable for $1 million in damages for each interfering incident.
See you at the polls.
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