Backers of Arizona’s recreational marijuana measure file 420K signatures for November ballot

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A measure to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana in Arizona filed 420,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot in November, officials reported Wednesday.

Technically, the measure needs 237,645 valid signatures to go in front of voters. While it’s common to file significantly more than required to withstand challenges from opponents, the Smart and Safe Arizona campaign’s estimate on how many signatures it filed is a nod to cannabis culture, which popularized references to the number “420.”

The measure would allow people 21 and older to have as much as an ounce of marijuana, tax sales at 16% above regular sales taxes, leave much of the regulation to the Department of Health Services and direct new revenues mostly toward community colleges and public safety.

The initiative is likely to be challenged by opponents, as disputing the number of valid signatures is a common strategy to try to keep measures off the ballot.

If approved by voters, Arizona would become the 12th state in the country to legalize recreational use of marijuana and the sixth Western state to do so, not including Alaska.

Thursday is the deadline for initiatives to file their signatures. Other initiatives circulating include the Invest in Education Act, which seeks to raise nearly $1 billion for education by taxing the state’s wealthiest residents. [Read More @ AZCentral]