Arizona Group Gives Up on Marijuana Legalization for Now
Arizona residents won't be toking up in public anytime soon. At least, not legally.
Safer Arizona, a cannabis-reform political-action committee, announced it stopped collecting signatures for its 2014 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana last week.
The volunteer-driven initiative fell well below the 250,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot, said Mikel Weisser, executive director for Safer Arizona.
"It was around a third of what we were after," Weisser said. "It's not going to be a number that we are rallying behind, it's a benchmark to improve from."
The organization lacked the funding and the manpower to collect all the required signatures, he said. All four of the volunteer organizers held day jobs and could work on the legislation only part time.
Additionally, the ballot initiative faced pushback from within the pro-marijuana community. The measure, if passed, would have redirected the issuing of marijuana licenses from the Arizona Department of Health Services to a revenue-related department, Weisser said.
"There were people in the dispensary industry and the cannabis establishment that liked our vigor and verve, but a lot of people were worried about what we would do for the business model," he said.
Safer Arizona isn't throwing in the towel, however.
The organization has already begun redirecting the momentum of the signature campaign for a 2016 ballot initiative, one that reflects the needs of the community, he said.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE HEADLINES
Video Just the Latest Stain on Chicago Police's Decades-Long Record of Misconduct3 days ago
On Immigration, Feds and Texas Play Chess3 days ago
Pension Cuts Win Federal Court Support in Chattanooga3 days ago
Maryland Changes How Lawsuit Payouts Are Sold3 days ago
Kentucky Governor Restores Voting Rights for Some Ex-Felons4 days ago
Black Lives Matter Protesters Sue Berkeley Police4 days ago