Arizona voters will decide Tuesday whether to legalize recreational marijuana, joining 11 other states that already have done so despite a conflict with federal law, which prohibits the drug’s use.
Proposition 207 would legalize possession of as much as an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, and set up a licensing system for retail sales of the drug, starting with the medical-marijuana dispensaries already operating in the state. Sales could begin in March under the measure.
The measure also would allow people previously convicted of marijuana crimes, such as the felony charge for possession, to have their records expunged by the courts.
And it would establish special “social equity” licenses for communities historically disenfranchised by marijuana laws.
The Department of Health Services would be responsible for determining who is eligible to apply for those social equity licenses, and would also be responsible for developing rules for the program and reviewing applications from medical dispensaries.
If passed, the approximately 120 medical-marijuana dispensaries operating in the state today, which have provided nearly all of the funding for Proposition 207, would be allowed to sell the drug to anyone over 21, not just people who have a doctor’s recommendation and state-issued medical-marijuana card. [Read more at azcentral.]