The Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee joined groups around the country and marched as part of the Million Marijuana March last Saturday in Phoenix.
The Arizona group’s march is aiming to legalize, decriminalize and repeal prohibition of cannabis in Arizona for recreational use for those age 21 and older.
“In our perspective, it’s unfair, immoral and unethical that anybody goes to prison for a plant,” said Alex Gentry, chairman of the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Political Action Committee.
Paperwork has been filed by the committee with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to start gathering signatures to get on the November 2018 ballot. It would have to accumulate 156,042 signatures from valid Arizona voters by July 5, 2018, to qualify.
It was proposed by the Safer Arizona Legalization Act to legalize “the possession, consumption, cultivation and sales of cannabis for adults” at least 21 years old, decriminalize cannabis-related violations and replace prison sentences with fines and misdemeanors.
In addition, it also proposes a tax on cannabis the revenue of which will go toward budget for education.
In case it passes, the act would likewise provide “post-conviction relief” for people with past violations associated with marijuana. Patricia Pantel, with Safer Arizona, said that’s an integral feature of the proposal.
“Nobody should go to jail for this particular plant,” she said. “This plant has so many uses and it helps a lot of people.”
A similar proposition to legalize recreational marijuana was narrowly voted against by Arizona voters last 2016. The proposal was strongly opposed by state public-safety and business leaders.
Seth Leibsohn, chairman for Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk wrote in a letter to The Arizona Republic prior to that election that the proposal would considerably raise Arizona’s drug-treatment prices, lead to more traffic fatalities and workplace accidents and harm “young brains.”