Last month, Arizona narrowly rejected an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use, but supporters of legalization are not discouraged by the failed vote and are already mobilizing to find alternative ways for the substance to become fully legal statewide. While a new proposition is being drafted for the next election, an Arizona lawmaker is considering a different approach that would get recreational marijuana use legalized through the state legislature, if successful, according to the Tenth Amendment Center blog.
The bill was prefiled for introduction during the 2017 legislative session by Rep. Mark Cardenas (D-Louisville), and if it is passed, it would mark a big step toward virtually annulling federal cannabis prohibition as well. Cardenas’s House Bill 2003 (HB2003) shares many similarities with Proposition 205, which was rejected in the November election by a narrow margin: 51.32 percent voted against recreational legalization and 48.68 percent voted in favor. Prop 205 was sponsored by the Coalition for the Regulation of Marijuana like Alcohol and supported by several dispensaries, medical marijuana manufacturers and other organizations, including YiLoLife, Inc., a holding company. The YiLo™ branded product line represents popular, top-quality MMJ products.
If successful, HB2003 would allow any individual age 21 or above to possess, use, display, purchase, consume or transport up to one ounce of marijuana, or up to five marijuana plants and the cannabis produced by those plants at their location. Additionally, any individual over the age of 21 would be permitted to transfer up to one ounce of marijuana and five immature marijuana plants to another person of legal age, without remuneration. The bill would also allow any individual of legal age to assist another person who is at least 21 in any of the acts listed above.
Furthermore, the bill would enforce an excise tax of $50 per marijuana ounce, with half the revenue so collected going to the general fund and the other half going toward health and educational programs. The Department of Health Services would be tasked with regulating the recreational cannabis industry in the state, while marijuana retailers and vendors would be required to register and get local and state officials’ approval for their business locations. Under HB2003, if any individual under 21 is caught possessing up to one ounce of marijuana, they would be required to either pay a fee of up to $300 or take part in a diversion program.
If the bill is successful during next year’s legislative session, Arizona will be the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana through its legislature instead of a ballot initiative process. In addition, passage of the bill would basically nullify the current federal prohibition on marijuana, with the Drug Enforcement Agency still listing cannabis among Schedule I controlled substances. Several states are already ignoring the prohibition, as more than two dozen allow medical marijuana use and eight others allow recreational use, as well.
In Arizona, YiLoLife remains a staunch supporter of legalization, constantly committed to educating the general public about the benefits of marijuana. The YiLo™ brand now offers an impressive, award-winning line of more than 600 medical marijuana products, available for patients suffering from various ailments, from glaucoma and Hepatitis C to cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Chron’s disease, PTSD, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and more.