Legalized Marijuana in the United States:
Legal marijuana in the U.S. has slowly reached into many regions of the United States and has become a billion dollar industry. Currently, there are 23 states that have passed legislation to permit the use of medicinal marijuana within state borders and 4 other states have passed legislation that legalizes the recreational use of marijuana within state borders. More states are expected to vote on marijuana legalization initiatives in 2016.
The momentum continues to build for marijuana reform in the U.S. and a recent Gallup poll supports this idea. According to the October issue of the Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans support marijuana use. This record level is the highest support level in the Gallup’s 46 year trend since 1969.
Four states plus the District of Columbia have made recreational marijuana legal. The four states include Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. The reform push is so strong right now in the U.S. that it is not an uncommon topic for presidential candidates to debate. Young adults are specifically supportive of the marijuana reform push according to Gallup numbers. Younger Americans, Democrats, and Independents are the groups most likely to support marijuana legalization in the U.S. Those affiliated with these groups, as well as others, will have additional opportunities in 2016 to support the marijuana initiative push. Arizona is one state many advocates of marijuana reform believe may be the next state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the U.S.
Legal Marijuana Use in Arizona:
It is likely that a measure to approve the recreational use of marijuana will appear on the November 8, 2016 ballot in Arizona. If voter approval is reached on this measure, residents 21 years of age or older will be able to possess and consume marijuana and would also be permitted to grow up to six plants in their private residence. As in other states that have approved the sale of marijuana, a tax would be levied and the tax revenue gained from the sale of marijuana would be utilized to support state programs in education and healthcare. Additionally, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and the sale of marijuana throughout the state of Arizona. Local governments would be granted the authority to regulate and limit marijuana businesses.
The initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state of Arizona is still in the signature collecting stage of the process. Over two thirds of the needed signatures are collected and the rest need to be collected before July 7, 2016. The initiative is sponsored by the national pro-legalization group Marijuana policy project.