10 things to look for in a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona


Backers of a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona are taking their time to determine what should be in the law and how to thread the needle on the most controversial issues for voters.

The proposal from the “Smart and Safe AZ” campaign won’t mimic any of those that have so far been approved in 11 other states, said Stacy Pearson, senior vice president with Strategies 360 in Phoenix, who is serving as the spokeswoman for the effort.

“This piece of legislation started from scratch and is in the process of very carefully maneuvering around the mistakes that have been made in other states,” Pearson said. “There are very significant lessons to be learned about what not to do. We understand those and are avoiding them.”

Arizonans narrowly rejected a marijuana-legalization measure at the polls in 2016.

It’s unclear if more than one measure will attempt to make it to the ballot in 2020, but considering the growth of Arizona’s dispensaries, which are funding the campaign, the Smart and Safe AZ measure almost certainly will go before voters.

Eleven states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — have approved marijuana legalization. So has Washington, D.C. [Read More @ Arizona Central]