Arizona voters will get another chance to decide if they want adults to be able to smoke, drink or otherwise ingest marijuana without having a medical condition.
Without comment, the state Supreme Court late Thursday upheld the decision of a trial judge that the 100-word description on the Smart and Safe Arizona Act “accurately described the proposition.” That clears the way for the proposal to appear on the November ballot.
The decision is a major setback for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which hired lawyers to try to keep the measure from getting on the ballot. The business group now will seek to raise money in hopes of convincing people to reject it.
That’s what happened four years ago after an extensive campaign resulted in the defeat of a similar measure by about 4 percentage points.
But a recent survey finds widespread support for the proposal, with more than six out of every 10 likely voters saying they will support it if it is on the ballot.
Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that just 32 percent say they’re definitely opposed to it.
The measure would allow adults to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana or 12 plants.
It would impose a 16 percent tax on sales, which proponents say would generate $300 million a year in new revenues to fund community colleges, public safety, health programs, and the construction and repair of roads.
The measure would prohibit sales to anyone younger than 21. It would also bar the sale of marijuana products that resemble humans, animals, insects, fruits, toys or cartoons – think gummy bears – or sell or advertise marijuana with names or designs that imitate food or drink brands marketed to children.
The measure would allow local governments to enact “reasonable zoning regulations” that limit where dispensaries and testing facilities, as well as actually limit or prohibit outlets outright.
It contains a provision that allows anyone who had been convicted of certain marijuana offenses before the law takes effect to have their record expunged.