Marijuana Policy Project Plans Arizona Legalization Measure for 2016

Categories: Election 2016

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The national Marijuana Policy Project, bolstered by federal approval of state pot-freedom laws, plans to put a Colorado-style legalization initiative on Arizona's ballot for 2016. It's part of a master plan to pass similar legalization laws in 10 states by 2017.

"We're feeling very good about what we can accomplish," says the MPP's spokesman, former Scottsdalite Mason Tvert.

The group was behind Arizona's historic medical-marijuana law, which voters passed by a narrow margin in 2010 and now support in even greater numbers, surveys claim.

See also:
- John McCain: "Maybe We Should Legalize" Marijuana
- Arizona's Medical-Marijuana Law Safe From Federal Action in Obama Policy

A poll in May also revealed that most Arizonans support legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, though it's unclear how voters would react to the MPP's latest proposal.

Marjiuana advocates have momentum on their side that doesn't appear likely to fade, at least while Obama's still in office. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department gave its blessing -- with some caveats -- to medical pot laws in Arizona and other states, as wel as voter-approved laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize pot for all adults 21 and older. Colorado's cannabis stores are set to open on January 1st.

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Mason Tvert
This week, a rare hearing about marijuana legalization took place in Congress. Even Republican Senator John McCain has expressed support for the pro-pot movement. In a statement on Friday, McCain basically threw Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and state Attorney General Tom Horne under the psychedelic bus by affirming that "I respect the will of the people."

Horne and Montgomery have been working hard to undermine the voter-sanctioned Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Montgomery told a reporter this week he'd try to derail the MPP's fresh push for legalization.

"We will not get caught flat-footed and late to the issue again," he said, implying he believes that Arizona's medical-pot law passed only because he and other prohibitionists were caught flat-footed and late to the issue.

Tvert, who lives in Colorado, says he doesn't expect a ton of opposition for the planned 2016 ballot initiative.

"Most people don't think adults should be punished simply for using (marijuana)," Tvert says, calling such opinions by prohibitionists "very antiquated" and driven by "weak arguments."

An example of one of those weak arguments can be seen in an opinion piece by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk published this week in a central Arizona newspaper. Polk ticks off a number of reasons why people shouldn't use marijuana, such as the idea that weed "starts the user on a downward life trajectory..." But she spends no time arguing why pot users should be arrested and jailed, as they are now, or why possession of one seed in Arizona should continue to be a felony.

By the way, Arizonans who don't want to wait until 2016 can still sign a petition going around that would put the legalization question on the ballot for next year. If that's successful, the Marijuana Policy Project could save money for campaigns in less pot-friendly states.

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20 comments
cbw4211
cbw4211

Till the DEA RESHEDULES marijuana from a schedule I drug they still have us by the balls. If you are an opiate user they block you from using, regardless of the states laws. All Drs must urine test for THC AND WILL NOT PRESCIBE IF ITS IN YOUR SYSYEM

Please go to popvox.com and sign up to support the ACLU's lawsuit to overturn this invasion of our 4th amendment right.

So I have paid my state tax have a card and can't use it as the DEA TRUMPHS STATE LAW!

Help in this overturn, the great state of IN Came up with this under an emergency ruling.

puffintuf
puffintuf

Everyone, go to saferarizona.com not this 2016 crap. we want to legalize in 2014

dkessler4
dkessler4

"The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day."  Elders stressed the drug is not physically addictive and pointed to the damaging impact of alcohol, which is legal.  "We have the highest number of people in the world being criminalized, many for non-violent crimes related to marijuana," said Elders. "We can use our resources so much better."Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, Former Surgeon General of the United States, appointed by President Clinton.

"[I]n the case of marijuana, legal penalties were originally assigned with total disregard for medical and scientific evidence of the properties of the drug or its effects. I know of no clearer instance in which the punishment for infraction of the law is more harmful than the crime."  Dr. Jesse L. Steinfeld, 11th Surgeon General of the United States, Director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Medical School, Professor of Medicine at the University of California-Irvine and Chief of Medicine at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California, Dean and Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine of the Medical College of Virginia, and President of the Medical College of Georgia.

"I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have 'no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.'  They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works."  Dr Sanjay Gupta, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr Gupta was offered the Surgeon General position in the Obama White House but took his name out of consideration.

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

The greatest plant in the universe is almost free..LET FREEDOM RINGFrom my lone state 20 years ago to now half the country and much of the world, the magical mystery god plant will soon be free to grow anywhere.How backwards is your country when it takes them 20 years to catch up to the greatest state...From outlaw to the law, long live cali...Arizona is the king of locking people up, your prisons will be empty is marijuana is legalized, lol, it's coming fast, maybe then most of the country won't be afraid to travel to your state

dtmac
dtmac

If it is a true copy of Colorado's law, then great. Colorado gives it's citizens cultivation rights.  

BrianKelly
BrianKelly

In the prohibitionist's world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are stoners and dopers that need to be incarcerated to protect society.


In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their god given duty to worry about saving us all from the evils of marijuana use.


Who are they to tell us we can't choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of a glass of wine for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?


People who use marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who "follow the law" also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it's current prohibition of course) .


Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make us out to be. We are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.


The President of The United States himself has confessed to his regular marijuana use during his college years, as has a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.


I am an educated 40 year old professional, and I am blessed with a wonderful family and life, and I've worked real hard for everything I have, but that doesn't mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like "dopers" and "stoners" about anybody who uses the slightest amount of marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.


To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, glorifies, and advertises alcohol consumption like it's an All American pastime.


There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long, hard day, than having a glass a wine.


So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to me that I can't enjoy marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of my own home?


I've worked hard my whole life to provide for my loved ones. I don't appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.


Has a marijuana user ever tried to FORCE you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force us not to either.


Don't try to impose your morality and "clean living" upon all of us with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won't think your such prohibitionist hypocrites.


Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

oscaroscaroscar
oscaroscaroscar

Montgomery is as dated in his thinking as Joe Friday.  The one person that could benefit from marijuana...the most tight assed man in the state...

It will happen, these dinosaurs haven't accepted it yet.  To hell with them.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Oh no, there goes the States prison cash cow...

elmergantry71
elmergantry71

"Arizona's medical-pot law passed only because he and other prohibitionists were caught flat-footed and late to the issue." Yes, about three decades late, I'd say.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Kiss our asses prohibitionists and corporate profit protectionists.... your gig is coming to a close

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Well, the pushers and their paid protection (the police) got greedy and didn't spread the wealth from their ill-gotten gains around enough and PUFF - there goes their gravy train.  I suspect we'll see a "peace dividend" when the war on this drug is finally over - BILLIONS of money in savings from law enforcement alone.  The ATF and DEA Budgets will be rearranged to work more on reducing gun violence!


Eleanor_Holguin
Eleanor_Holguin

You forgot to mention Jan Brewer. 

You misspelled well... "wel".

tvphreesince93
tvphreesince93

@puffintuf the dude who started the 2014 drive screwed up and made the age 18. The voters of Arizona will not legalize pot for high school students. It was a very stupid mistake, and he strikes me as an emotional guy who might not be very well balanced. BTW, I am a twenty-year smoker and look forward to smoking legally in Tucson in 2016!

dkessler4
dkessler4

@dtmac I believe that the one that is currently circulating does allow cultivation.  

URANIDIOT
URANIDIOT

@Flyer9753 Joto, who do you think is behind MPP?  Corporate Profit Protectionists, dumb ass.

ZOMBIEKILLA
ZOMBIEKILLA

@ExpertShot 1. The DEA is an enforcement agency of all drugs, not your weed.  HSI is now also in the fold as well.  There will be zero cutbacks in any of the three agencies.

tvphreesince93
tvphreesince93

@URANIDIOT @Flyer9753 Legalizing marijuana represents a dire threat to big pharma and the private prison industry. I don't know who you think is funding the legalization movement, but the corporate money is AGAINST legalization- so flyer was right!

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