The Marijuana Policy Project is planning to pursue full marijuana legalization in Arizona in 2016. The recreational program would be modeled on Colorado’s and allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase marijuana from pot shops.
According to MPP Communications Director Mason Tvert, who led the charge for marijuana legalization in Colorado, historically marijuana initiatives have been much more successful during presidential elections rather than midterm elections. The group will wait until 2016 for that reason, and also to allow for Colorado to become a successful example of how recreational marijuana can work in a state.
A pro-marijuana group was attempting to get marijuana legalization onto the 2014 ballot, but their efforts are falling short. The group supporting the Safer Arizona Initiative has only collected 10,000 of the required 259,213 signatures to get their initiative on the ballot– they have until July 3rd to do so. The group also has admitted they lack major funding to help the signature gathering process.
“We still are behind schedule on getting petition signatures,” said Dennis Bohlke, a north Phoenix resident who is leading the initiative, adding that supporters are “not ready to throw in the towel yet.”
“We’ve got high hopes,” he said, the day before hitting a Phoenix library to gather signatures. “But I don’t want to sound unrealistic,” suggesting the group may fail to qualify for the ballot.
Medical marijuana was legalized for Arizonans in 2010 under the voter approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.