New recreational marijuana proposition could go to voters in 201 - Tucson News Now

New recreational marijuana proposition could go to voters in 2018

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

Following last year's defeat of Proposition 205, which would have legalized recreational cannabis, the issue will likely be back before the voters again in 2018.

There are at least three initiatives gathering signatures now with more likely to come. It isn't guaranteed whether one or all of them may make the ballot, but some have a better chance than others.

One initiative would legalize not just marijuana, but heroin, cocaine, LSD and peyote as well. 

A second would eliminate tax on cannabis altogether. 

Another is supported by Safer Arizona, which needs a bit more than 150,000 signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot.

"We'll get 225,000 just to make sure," David Wisniewski said. "And we'll do it all with volunteers."

Wisniewski says he has 400 volunteers gathering signatures but has a long way to go. He's only up to 3,500 right now but has until next July to finish the job.

Organizers are making a big push on Thursday, which happens to be April 20, sort of the Christmas Day for cannabis users. It's a time when many pot smokers defy the law and light up a joint outdoors or smoke in public places, legal or not.

For the 420 Social Club on Fourth Avenue, it's a time to party but also to gather support and signatures for its cause. They promise to keep it down this year.

"Last year, the party we had on 420 was raided," said Dave Croteau, an officer with Veterans United for Cannabis. "We were red tagged."

This year there are fewer musical groups and more comedians scheduled. 

Also taking the stage will be Wisniewski, who will drum up support for his initiative, which he says avoids the pitfalls of Prop 205.

"There will be no monopolies," he said.

Prop 205 would have given all recreational licenses to current medicinal marijuana dispensaries. 

"Our initiative is written by the people, for the people," he said. "It's a free-market system."

It also eliminated the middleman. In Prop 205, much of the tax money would have been used for enforcement and testing.

"All the money is guaranteed to go to schools," Wisniewski said.

A CBS poll released on Thursday shows 61 percent of the country favors legalization for recreational use and 33 percent oppose, a reversal from 30 years ago.

"We're at the point that momentum has come so far," he said. "People know legalization is coming." 

For information on the 2018 initiatives, referendums and recalls click here: http://apps.azsos.gov/election/2018/general/initiatives.htm

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