Marijuana jars

Will Arizona join the growing list of states which allow the sale and recreational use of marijuana?

It seems inevitable, and there are some good reasons to decriminalize marijuana. Yet there are some bad ways to go about it, ways that raise more legal issues than they settle and threaten workplace and roadway safety.

Arizonans will be presented with one of the latter varieties in the November election in the form of Prop. 207.

Prop. 207 would legalize for adults the possession and use of up to one ounce of marijuana, allow a very limited number of marijuana plants to be grown at home, provide tens of millions of dollars for community colleges and public health and safety agencies and expunge criminal records for previous marijuana convictions, including paraphernalia.

That all sounds pretty good, including the provision for a one-time transfer of $45 million for a teachers academy and various health, safety and education programs.

Prop. 207 goes downhill from there.

Though purporting to support workplace and public safety rules against drug impairment, it very much muddies existing law on what that means. Under Prop. 207, impairment isn’t defined but it does say that neither the presence of marijuana smoke nor bloodstream metabolites are evidence of impairment.

This leaves very little way, short of confession, for a worker or a driver to be deemed impaired. To our mind, this provision alone warrants rejection of Prop. 207.

Since Prop. 207 is backed by existing medical marijuana dispensaries, it’s no surprise the proposition gives essentially first dibs to those dispensaries for the very few retail licenses.

Issues of fairness aside, the limits on those licenses raises doubts about the projection that the 16% additional tax (plus regular sales tax) would raise some $166 million each year for the state.

Marijuana legalization would unclog the courts and jails and let law enforcement focus on more serious crimes. In that regard, legalizing pot would save a lot of taxpayer money. Unfortunately, Prop. 207 is likely, if approved, to reclog the courts in sorting out impairment and other provisions of the law, if approved. It might simplify some things in Mohave County, which adjoins two states where marijuana possession and use is legal and where the common waterways create thorny legal issues.

The Arizona Legislature considered offering its own marijuana referendum but unfortunately did not do so.

Instead, voters are offered Prop. 207, to which they should just say no.

— Today’s News-Herald

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(9) comments

HappyInHavasu71

I don't use pot, but Yes on 207. Sorry the Newzies see issues with the ballot item, but the time has come to decriminalize it. Look, come election week, about half of the country will be crying elephant tears, and the other half celebrating some victory. No matter how difficult the next four years is for you, you'll have plenty of edibles to bring joy into your life! We'll have plenty of issues to work through, as have all other states, but we'll do it. First we'll deal with the Covid pregnancies, then the legal pot pg's. It's a wild world.

hvnfun

Always a better way, then propose it or support the current effort.

Objective Dialectic

Yes to Prop 207. The benefits far outweigh any negatives; the editor fails to influence my vote!

23merkaba

An anonymous article with no info to back up ridiculous claims.

BigBob

It is an opinion piece by the editorial staff.

Objective Dialectic

[thumbup]

Mr Lemons

Prop 207 should be approved by voters. Let the legislature work out the "impairment" issues and the unfair licensing. Expungement of criminal records for previous marijuana convictions, including paraphernalia is desperately needed. Especially, paraphernalia arrest records. It has always seemed crazy to me that you can be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia when it's available to buy legally in "head shops."

BigBob

Holy crap! We actually agree on something and contrary to the lies told by my Biggest Fan I do not use the stuff and do not travel to Needles. That would be simple simon who always talks about the Wagon Wheel, believe me NOBODY drives to Needles to eat at the Wagon Wheel.

Objective Dialectic

[thumbup]

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