If the Court Doesn’t, Voters Can
PHOENIX – What comes to mind when you read, “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act”? Probably the same mundane thought elicited when you read the vague petition summary. By this, one would never imagine the ballot measure would change or dramatically impact existing DUI laws, infringe on business owners and landlords, set up a marijuana monopoly, and allow for the sale of highly potent marijuana-laced candy that could fall into the hands of little children.
That’s the point of a lawsuit argued in Superior Court today initiated by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy and other concerned parties. The lawsuit aims to protect voters from a highly misleading ballot measure that would drastically impact quality of life issues, road safety, employment, and education, among other safety concerns.
It is clear from the oral arguments that Big Marijuana proponents, who stand to make a lot of money if the ballot measure passes, misled Arizona voters who signed the petition to get the measure on the ballot.
Some of the critical aspects of the ballot measure conveniently left out of the summary:
- Arizona roads will be more dangerous because it changes DUI laws
- Business owners cannot restrict marijuana use outside the office or fire “high” workers unless or until there is a workplace accident
- Landlords cannot stop tenants from growing giant marijuana plants
- State officials could no longer protect children or make custody or visitation decisions due to marijuana use or growth
- Arizona schools will get only about $30 a student from pot revenue
- But the Marijuana market will make $300 million a year
- The regulatory board is largely made up of those in the industry, so they would be policing themselves
- Localities cannot ban dispensaries if they already have medical marijuana dispensaries – and all localities have medical marijuana dispensaries except for a small reservation in Northern Arizona
Other facts also not disclosed by big marijuana proponents:
- The dispensaries are monopolized
- Half the pot sold in Colorado is in the form of candy – high potency marijuana-laced gummy bears and lollipops. Children have been hospitalized after accidental overdoses
- Today’s marijuana is more than ten times stronger than it was in the 70s. Even the DEA lists marijuana in the same category as heroin, LSD, and meth
- More people, including children, use and are exposed to marijuana when it is legal
- Any “revenue” for the state would be outpaced by rising economic and societal costs of law enforcement, increased accident and medical bills, rehabilitation, counseling, school suspensions, drop-outs, worker productivity, and more
Regardless of Judge Gentry’s decision, the case will likely be decided by the Arizona Supreme Court. If the Court doesn’t see the deceitful aspects of this measure, voters will. And they can refuse to be manipulated come November 8.
Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. For more information, visit azpolicy.org.