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Prop 207 – Smart & Safe ACT

Arizona’s MMJ program was initiated in 2010 when voters passed Proposition 203, allowing the state to begin regulation of the sale of medical-use cannabis. In 2016, Proposition 205 failed to pass, leaving non-medical consumers waiting for common sense legalization. Analysts saw a lack of fundraising early on in the campaign as the main reason for their failing to pass the legislation. This time around, funding in favor of Prop 207 is 25 times that of the opposition, with proponents raising $3.5 million in cash and in kind donations while opponents raised only $140 thousand. Whether funding is any indication of the success of legislation is unclear, but the desire to pass Prop 207 seems unprecedented in AZ.

Remember: an end to Federal prohibition does not mean an end to State legislated prohibition, such as is in place in Arizona or Texas. Federal laws can only prohibit legalization, they cannot prohibit criminalization at this point.

What is Prop 207?

Simply put, Prop 207 legalizes adult recreational use of marijuana. As a consumer, the benefits might seem obvious – stress relief for non medical users worried about being persecuted, greater access to medicine for low income individuals, police would be able to handle actual problems, the backed up courts will speed up wait times, and jobs will be created.

However, as with most legislation permitting cannabis regulation, Prop 207 increases the penalties for what is deemed ‘non-legal’ cannabis use, cultivation, sale and transfer.

Legalization & Regulation

  1. Prop 207 would legalize the sale, possession and consumption of one ounce of marijuana (of which 5 grams can be concentrate/extract) for adults 21 years and older. 

  2. It would also allow home cultivation of up to 6 plants for one adult and 12 plants for two or more adults who live together.

  3. Prop 207 gives the ADHS the authority to regulate the testing of all cannabis products. It applies limits of 10mg THC per serving of edible products or 100mg per package.

Community & Kids

  1. A 16% excise tax will be added to all recreational sales (see where it is destined below). This would generate an increase in state revenue by directly taxing the consumer of cannabis, much in the same way that tobacco is taxed at its own rate. Prop 207 makes provisions to fund community colleges, public safety & health programs, state infrastructure, as well as funding programs dedicated to addiction prevention, substance abuse treatment, suicide prevention, mental health programs and other justice reinvestment projects.

  2. Proponents of Prop 207 say that legalization would allow police to focus on violent crime and would free up the justice system, which is currently backlogged.

  3. Prop 207 provides a way for people who were convicted of low-level marijuana charges to have their criminal records expunged. It also establishes a Justice Reinvestment Fund, aimed at restorative justice for communities most affected by archaic marijuana prohibitions.

  4. Prop 207 also requires all cannabis packaging be childproof and labeled, bans advertising to children as well as the sale of gummy bears, gummy worms and other products that might resemble kids’ candy – animals, toys, people, fruit shapes, etc.

Public Use Crackdown

  1. Prop 207 aims to ban smoking marijuana in public places like restaurants and open spaces like sidewalks and parks.

  2. Prop 207 would also increase penalties for driving under the influence.

  3. Prop 207 would continue to allow employers and landlords to prohibit use at their workplaces and on their property.

Where does the Tax Money Go?

  1. $15 Million (33.3%) – Arizona Teachers Academy Fund.

  2. $10 Million (22.2%) – The Department to fund the formation and operation of councils, commissions and programs dedicated to improving public health, including teen suicide prevention, the maternal mortality review program, improving youth health, substance abuse prevention , addressing adverse childhood experiences, the Arizona poison control system, the Arizona health improvement plan, the child fatality review team and the chronic pain self management program.

  3. $10 Million (22.2%) – The Governor’s office of highway safety to distribute grants to reducing impaired driving, including conducting training programs and purchasing equipment for detecting, testing and enforcing laws against driving, flying or boating while impaired.

  4. $2 Million (4.4%) – The department to implement, carry out and enforce new policies.

  5. $4 Million (8.8%) – The department to distribute grants to qualified nonprofit entities that will provide outreach to individuals who may be eligible to file petitions for expungement.

  6. $2 Million (4.4%) – The department to develop and implement a social equity ownership program to promote the ownership and operation of marijuana establishments and marijuana testing facilities by individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.

  7. $1 Million (2.2%) – The department to fund programs and grants to qualified nonprofit organizations for education and community outreach.

  8. $1 Million (2.2%) – The Smart and Safe Arizona fund established by section 36-2856.

How do I Vote for Prop 207?

  1. Register to Vote by October 5, 2020

  2. Online – Visit the official ‘Service Arizona’ website and follow the instructions.

  3. By Mail – You can either print off a form online (PDF) or request that a registration form be mailed to you from your County Recorder. After completing the voter registration form, mail it to your county recorder’s office.

  4. In Person – You may visit your County Recorder’s Office and fill out a registration form in person.

  5. Vote on November 3, 2020

  6. Find your polling place.

  7. Bring ID – see requirements here.

  8. Information on Early Voting (begins Oct. 7)

  9. Information on Mail in Voting

Joseph Cassini is a writer and designer for The Cannabis Cactus Magazine. He enjoys cooking, history, and smoking cannabis outside of the city.


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