Photo via Arizona Marijuana
Arizona cannabis advocates are working their hardest to collect signatures in order to put a legalization measure on November’s ballot. And according to a new statewide poll, Copper State residents of all ages and political affiliations are finally ready to end prohibition once and for all.
The poll, conducted by HighGround Public Affairs Consultants and first reported by the Phoenix New Times, asked respondents specifically about the legalization proposal currently circulating, and it found overwhelming support. On a whole, 65 percent of the 400 participants said that they would “definitely” or “probably” vote in support of the legalization proposal. On the negative end, only 25 percent of respondents said that they would “probably” or “definitely” vote against the measure. The remaining 9 percent said that they did not know or refused to answer.
Despite its shared borders with California and Nevada, Arizona has had a long and complicated history with cannabis law reform. The state currently has an active medical marijuana program, but that industry has had to fight against stern regulators for basic access to products like cannabis extracts. In 2016 cannabis activists got a different legalization measure on the statewide ballot, but it was defeated at the polls.
This time around, though, a majority of both Republicans and voters over the age of 50 said that they would support the legalization measure, suggesting that opinions are shifting at all levels. Amongst Republicans, 56 percent said they would support the proposal. 55 percent of voters aged 65 and older also said that they would approve the measure.
"The Highground poll is encouraging and tracks with what we know — Arizonans are ready to legalize marijuana," Stacy Pearson of Strategies 360, which is running the campaign on behalf of the medical marijuana dispensaries who sponsored the initiative, told the New Times. "And in this economic environment, the need for new tax revenue is even more important to our state."
Arizona’s legalization proposal needs 237,645 valid signatures to make it onto the 2020 ballot, but Pearson said that she is confident that organizers will surpass their goal and hand in upwards of 400,000 signatures by next month’s deadline.
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