Gov. Ducey, southern AZ leaders talk tough on recreational marij - Tucson News Now

Gov. Ducey, southern AZ leaders talk tough on recreational marijuana

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Law enforcement and local business leaders joined Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for a round table discussion Wednesday about the dangers of legalizing recreational marijuana use through Proposition 205.

"There's not one problem in front of the state of Arizona that the legalization of recreational marijuana makes better," Ducey said early on in
the event.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk joined Ducey at the head of the table to share information that she had gathered in opposition of the ballot initiative. She said Prop 205 takes away local control of marijuana enforcement and doesn't allow for municipalities to back out of recreational marijuana sales like the Colorado proposition did.

"Prop 205 is worse than what they did in Colorado," said Ducey. "Why would we even think of voting yes on this?"

Law enforcement cited concerns of policing what's already on the books without having to add legal marijuana into the mix. Business leaders said the legalization would put employees at risk on the job and leave companies stuck between state and federal laws. 

Together, everyone at the event agreed the safety of Arizona children is the top priority.

"That's such a stupid argument," said Jean-Paul Genet, owner of Purple Med Healing Center. "I hear that all the time. It's so stupid. I'm sorry, yes, accidents will happen and they do."

Genet said children would be at no more risk of exposure to marijuana than they currently are exposed to alcohol. He said that more people should research the benefits of cannabis and question the talking points that they've been led to believe up to this point.

"If people can look a little further down the road, and understand what this is about, the psychotropic effects of cannabis are just a very small portion of what this plant can do," he said. "There are many, many people who function daily, very well, who do their jobs, and they use cannabis on a regular basis."

Ducey said stopping Prop 205 is a top priority, but he's open to future talks about other ways for marijuana to be legalized in Arizona after it's defeated.

"This is a reality that we're going to have to deal with in our communities," he said. "But this law was written by the marijuana industry to benefit the marijuana industry. It's not benefiting the state of Arizona." 

Current medical marijuana dispensaries would have first priority to open recreational shops, according to Prop 205. Genet said it's only fair because the current businesses already know how to operate within the industry and it's not an overnight money-maker like some people may believe. 

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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