FILE - Arizona Medical Marijuana

This April 14, 2010 file photo shows more than 100 boxes containing over 252,000 signatures collected by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project line at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office at the Capitol in Phoenix. The initiative was later narrowly approved by voters.

Arizona voters could see another marijuana legalization question on the ballot in 2020.

Smart & Safe Arizona, a group pushing for marijuana legalization in the state, said Friday that it filed a ballot measure with the Secretary of State's office for approval. 

Supporters of the measure will need to collect 237,645 signatures to get a question on the ballot in 2020. The group will need to submit signatures by July 2, 2020.

A similar effort to legalize the drug failed in 2016. Arizona voters rejected Proposition 205 that year, which would have legalized marijuana consumption for individuals 21 years of age and older, by an almost 3 percent margin. 

Arizona voters narrowly approved Proposition 203 in 2010, which legalized medical marijuana. 

The new initiative would legalize the possession and consumption of one ounce of marijuana for individuals at least 21 years old. Consumption would be banned in public.

Smart & Safe Arizona says legalization would create a $300 million a year windfall for state government, and the initiative would direct revenue towards education, public health and infrastructure funding.

The initiative would allow employers to ban marijuana use at workplaces.

The group also says the initiative would “Free up police to focus on real crime and hard drugs and unclogs the justice system” and “create thousands of good-paying jobs across Arizona.”

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, which opposes marijuana legalization, in a statement questioned whether the initiative would effectively protect minors.

“The only promise they’ve [the marijuana industry] ever kept is to rake in as much profit as possible,” said ARDP Chair Sheila Polk. “When you look at all the promises they’ve broken, you have to wonder how this initiative will be any different.” 

“Legalizing marijuana is neither smart nor safe,” Polk added. “Just as they did in 2016, Arizonans should reject this risky gamble with public health and safety.”

 

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.