Push to Regulate Marijuana in the State of Arizona:
Marijuana reform plans continue to gain momentum in the state of Arizona. Although medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Arizona since 2010, recreational marijuana is still illegal. Right now in the U.S., 23 states have passed legislation that permits access to medical marijuana in some form and 4 states have passed legislation that permits recreational marijuana. A new campaign in the state of Arizona is working to add Arizona to the list of states that permit recreational marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project is working to place an initiative to regulate marijuana in the state on the 2016 ballot. This initiative would establish a state regulated taxable system for retail sales of marijuana to adults in the state. It would allow adults that are 21 years of age or older to grow up to six marijuana plants in their residence and possess up to one ounce of marijuana and consume marijuana in private. Public use of marijuana would remain illegal.
Currently, the group working to get this initiative on the 2016 ballot has over half the signatures needed to do so. Based on the trend of signature collection so far, it appears that the number of signatures required, 230,000, will be attained. The group, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona, has until July of 2016 to get the needed signatures so that the initiative can be on the ballot in time for the November 2016 election data.
Marijuana Regulation would bring High Tax Revenue to the State of Arizona:
The campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol would also bring with it a system to tax marijuana sales in a way that is similar to the alcohol sales tax. According to J.P. Holyoak, the campaign chairman, a conservative estimate of the amount of tax revenue that the marijuana industry could collect in a single year is $40 million. Opponents of legalized marijuana in the state disagree. Despite the conflict of opinions, it is evident that other states that have legalized marijuana are collecting significant tax revenue. The marijuana industry has developed into a billion dollar industry. It is hard to ignore its potential. Despite this potential, authorities continue to crack down in the state of Arizona.
Authorities Still Enforcing the Current Law in Arizona:
In related news, authorities recently seized over 200 pounds of marijuana from a Phoenix Arizona residence. Authorities in Phoenix were given a tip that an area home contained marijuana and marijuana plants. Specifically, 220 pounds of marijuana were seized and nine marijuana plants were found inside the home. The Phoenix authorities estimate that the marijuana and plants hold a street value of approximately $110,000.