The Yes on 205 Campaign has begun! Supporters of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona, sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project, have collected enough signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. Opponents are challenging the initiative in court, but this appears to be a final, desperate attempt to stop voters from ending prohibition in Arizona, and the campaign expects to win.
Replacing marijuana prohibition with regulation is especially important in Arizona, because it has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. Unlike most states, the criminal penalty for possession of just one ounce of marijuana can be a felony that carries a potential penalty of 18 months in jail and a $150,000 fine. And this in a state where, in 2012, 92% of all reported burglaries, 74% of all reported rapes, and over 90% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved.
If the measure passes the statewide ballot in November, it would allow adults to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, or 1/8 ounce of concentrated marijuana, effective Jan. 1.
Local governments could make rules on where marijuana businesses could be located, but couldn’t impose blanket bans on the substance.