PHOENIX — Voters will have the opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona for adults over 21 in this year’s general election.
And half of respondents in a recent poll say they are in favor.
The Morrison Institute, Arizona Republic and Cronkite News partnered on the poll, which surveyed 800 registered voters. Nearly 40 percent said they would oppose it and 10 percent were undecided, while roughly 50 percent were in favor.
White Mountain Independent reporter Mike Leiby asked a handful of White Mountain residents — on social media and in person — what they thought.
Some were in favor, and others weren’t so sure.
“I think that it should be passed,” Jasmin Powers of Lakeside said. “I have my green (medical marijuana) card and it serves for my depression and anxiety. I think it should be passed so long as people use (recreational marijuana) responsibly.”
Jon Dahl, Owner of the Stanford Store at the “Y” in Apache County, said he supports Prop. 205.
“I just think it should not be punishable anymore. I am further concerned about our use of human resources (law enforcement) to incarcerate people for a what I consider a non-crime.”
“I’m fine with it,” Michael Colombo said. His wife agreed, as well. “I think its fine,” she said. “I haven’t heard any disaster stories out of Colorado,” Colombo’s wife said.
If passed, it will become legal for adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to consume it in private. Alternatively, it will allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space at their residence, with the condition that no more than 12 plants can be grown in a single residence.
The law will also enact a 15 percent excise tax on retail marijuana sales, which will be used for: 40 percent for the Department of Education for school construction and capital expenses, 40 percent for full-day kindergarten programs and 20 percent for the Department of Health Services for public education regarding the harms of alcohol, marijuana and other substances.
Although the Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates $30 million in new funds will be generated as a result of Prop. 205's passage, it will also require the creation of a new regulatory department. Opponents of the initiative say that the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, which will oversee licensed retail stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities, will have a high cost to operate that will likely almost outweight the increase in tax revenues.
Election day is Nov. 8 and early ballots are distributed on Oct. 12.
The last day to register to vote in Arizona is next Monday, Oct. 10.