Bid To Put Recreational Marijuana On November Ballot Fails

Arizona was the only state out of four that did not pass a marijuana initiative in November 2016. (File photo by Brian Fore/Cronkite News)

By Amanda Fahey

PHOENIX – Another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona went up in smoke Thursday when Safer Arizona missed the 5 p.m. deadline to file petitions to get on the Nov. 6 ballot.

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A representative of the grassroots group said Thursday afternoon that it had collected about 75,000 of the 150,625 signatures needed to qualify the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act for the ballot. According to the group’s website, it had hoped to collect 225,000 signatures; the group had been gathering signatures since November.

The initiative had six main objectives: repeal prohibition; post-conviction relief and criminal-record expungement; job creation; no discrimination; and reasonable regulation and consumer safety.

In 2010, Arizona voters narrowly passed Proposition 203, allowing the use of medical marijuana for those who hold a medical card authorized by a physician. The card allows patients to purchase and use marijuana without facing prosecution. The first dispensaries in the state opened in 2012.

In 2016, voters defeated Proposition 205, which would have made possession and consumption legal for age 21 or older. The measure lost 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent; Arizona was the only state out of four that did not pass a marijuana initiative in November 2016.

Safer Arizona has been a polarizing force among marijuana advocates. The group’s representatives lack professionalism and play into the “stoner” stereotype, critics say. That may alienate some supporters of the cannabis cause who don’t want to be associated with the negative connotations of marijuana use, they contend.


  1. I guess the potheads just weren’t motivated enough to get the required number of signatures. Marijuana has that effect.

    • i smoke pot.. i’m glad it didn’t pass.
      Since it became medical. the price of a pot habit went from 60 a week to 20 a day.
      thats been my experience.

  2. Looks like we dodged another bullet, Where are the State and local health departments` educational campaigns giving us the latest info on the effects of the new and more potent strains of marijuana and an objective report on the effects of legalizing the drug in Colorado or have those promoting legalization already bought off our politicians?

  3. I’ve never seen any shortage on the streets since the 60s when the flow started in earnest – for that matter there has never been a shortage of any drug since the drug war started. If they want to stop the flow, start the bombing.

  4. oh, yeah used to – have not in some time, probably smoked a lot of SE Asia and a segment of Mexico… it only leads you to trouble if you follow it – oh it is a killer just like tobacco no doubt. Worst available legal drug, without question ETOH

  5. It seems to me that we are in times which require clear-headed thinking. So, do we really need more stoners ??

    • Dave, I don’t think your thoughts on more or less stoners matters.. it’s a smoke’em if you got’em environment – nothing really has changed since the 60’s when drugs arrived – lots of folks still listening to the same music now as then – they’ve gotten only older – a core thought to the term ‘Wasted’

      • It is a factor in the things that matter. People are always. Saying that the country is going to pot. Do you think that saying came out of thin air? Here in Phoenix, one can see many billboards saying “you be you”. That frustrates me because the country’s mantra used to be “work hard to better than you (are now)”. What’s wrong with that?

        • and in “Tuc-son” in the 60’s there was a poster photo of a good looking girl in tight jeans at the back of a VW bus with one leg up – her cowboy boot resting on a pile of kilos with the then abducted Tucson phrase of “Try Tucson First” which used to be a pro local business promotional phrase.. it was the local business, still is.. except the year, now its about 1978 where Tucson is stuck isn’t it

  6. My younger brother started smoking pot when he was 13! Sorry to say it only led to more stronger drugs. He died a few months back of heroin overdose and kidney failure, most of his organs were shutting down.
    I miss him so much, he’d been on the streets for a few years and did not have the will to get straight, to get counseling and go to a rehab. Lord knows I tried to talk him into going to rehab, and he’d say “yeah yeah I will” The drugs had command of his will, and he was the slave so he never even tried.
    Don’t kid yourselves people, pot does lead to stronger drugs, I don’t give a dang if we lose MJ money. I am glad the initiative didn’t make it to the ballot. Additionally I don’t want some Doctor who’s high operating on me or my loved ones. I don’t want some bank teller with a habit skimming off accounts, I don’t want a cab driver holding me up, I don’t want anything to do with anyone in any walk of life “high” or hooked on stronger drugs. Especially having anything to do with my grandchildren. So in closing, Yippee!, we dodged a bullet. Of course there’s next time.

    • I voted in favor of medical marijuana years ago. I firmly believe it’s “over prescribed”, apparently it can treat any and everything, but it can’t cure anything, otherwise they’d get off of it over time.
      I have consistently voted NO on any recreational use, and will continue to do so in the future.

      The Oracle

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