As you may have heard, I’m closing out my final week at Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) and moving on to become the Senior Policy Advisor & General Counsel in the Arizona House of Representatives. While this news is indeed bittersweet, the results of CAP’s leadership this fall, particularly in opposing Proposition 205, have been a great blessing for the CAP team and for all Arizonans. Here is a brief recap of how it unfolded this fall:
During the first half of 2016, few Arizonans knew that recreational marijuana might be sold next to the places where we ship our mail, buy our groceries, or shop for our children’s and grandchildren’s clothing. Arizonans were promised money for schools, careful regulation, and the expulsion of drug cartels in exchange for regulating marijuana like alcohol.
But the risk to our children and communities would prove to be too high.
The promises of Prop 205 were made of carefully crafted language to veil the truths of a ballot measure written by and for the marijuana industry; not for the purpose of simply decriminalizing recreational use of the drug, but to benefit stakeholders at the expense of the safety and security of Arizona families.
To make matters worse, the ballot measure was met with great amounts of ambivalence and ignorance as heavily funded proponents blasted their agenda across the airwaves and on billboards. With just weeks until the November 8 general election, all indicators pointed to the measure passing and becoming an unchangeable law in Arizona.
Center for Arizona Policy, together with a coalition of likeminded statewide leaders, took action to educate, inform, and mobilize influencers in our communities to spread the word about this dangerous measure.
We met with pastors and other community leaders at town halls, briefings, summits, and conference calls. Armed with talking points and reproducible resources, such as bulletin inserts and pre-service slides, we equipped and empowered pastors to speak out from the pulpit.
“Our relationship with Center for Arizona Policy through the years has given us the resources we have needed to approach social issues with a gracious biblical response,” says Mark Martin, Senior Pastor at Calvary Community Church. As one of many pastors who attended an August Pastors’ Summit, Pastor Mark took the message to his pulpit, encouraging thousands in his congregation to vote “no” on the measure.
In October, CAP convened influential women from across the Phoenix area at a ladies luncheon hosted by CAP President Cathi Herrod and featuring the First Lady of Arizona, Angela Ducey. Mrs. Ducey, along with Debbie Moak, Director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, spoke out about the realities of legalized recreational marijuana and the deceptively crafted measure. As the mother of three teenage boys, Mrs. Ducey shared her heart about her concerns about Prop 205. Some of the facts about today’s marijuana and the details from the 19 pages of Prop 205 from Debbie Moak’s presentation were met with audible gasps from the more than 175 women, each representing dozens to hundreds more in their own circles of influence. They left the luncheon with yard signs and a marked sense of determination; emboldened to do whatever they could as “mama bears” to defeat this measure.
We want you to know that your support of CAP this year made all of this – and more – possible! Your faithful support through your prayers and your gifts enabled us to form partnerships that directly resulted in the defeat of this measure! Arizona now stands alone as the only state in 2016 to say “no!” to legalized recreational marijuana, and we owe it to you.
Together, we sparked a powerful grassroots movement.
However, we can’t spend too long celebrating, for the work continues, and we will continue to keep our commitment to stand up for you! In order to do this, we need to be candid with you.
Right now, with just a few days remaining in 2016, we need your financial support in order to begin 2017 on the firmest possible footing so that we’re poised and ready for the challenges ahead.
As of today, we still have a considerable way to go to reach our budget goal for the year.
Your tax-deductible gift of $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more today will help get us closer to this ambitious goal!
Thank you in advance for your generosity and for standing with us as we face the challenges to life, marriage and family, and religious freedom in the days, weeks, and months ahead!
General Counsel & VP, Policy
Center for Arizona Policy