THE TRUTH ABOUT: Arizona Proposition 205 – Marijuana Legalization on the Ballot in November…
Will the people of Arizona vote to decriminalize the recreational use of Marijuana this November by voting “Yes” on Prop 205?
The best place to start a discussion on this topic is to be clear about exactly what Proposition 205 is. From there, we can review some of the arguments for and against the measure.
What is Proposition 205?
The Arizona Secretary of State website states that Proposition 205, Relating to the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana is a proposition written by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project.
ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO POSSESS, GROW AND PURCHASE MARIJUANA FROM STATE-LICENSED FACILITIES FOR PERSONAL USE.
A “yes” vote shall have the effect of permitting individuals 21 years and older to privately use, possess, manufacture, give away, or transport up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 marijuana plants at the individual’s residence; generally declaring violations of the Act (including public use) a petty offense punishable by no more than a $300 fine; creating the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, which includes a 7-member Marijuana Commission appointed by the Governor, to regulate and license entities involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and testing marijuana products; granting local jurisdictions limited authority to enact ordinances and rules to regulate marijuana and marijuana products; establishing licensing fees for marijuana establishments and levying a 15% tax on all marijuana and marijuana products; and declaring all marijuana establishment contracts enforceable notwithstanding any conflict with federal law.
A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining existing law, which prohibits individuals from using, possessing, growing or purchasing marijuana unless the individual is authorized by and doing so in compliance with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
READ MORE: Arguments in Support of Prop 205
READ MORE: Arguments against Prop 205
READ MORE: Original Article by Matt Harding of Yuma Sun – Going For The Green: Prop 205 Backers Say Tax Revenue from Legal Marijuana Would Help Schools, but Opponents See Issues…
A Brief Video Review of Prop 205: Pro & Con Arguments Analysed
What do the people of Arizona think?
If legalizing, regulating and taxing the recreational use of Marijuana would significantly decrease the violence of the ongoing “War on Drugs” against the criminal drug cartels, and reduce the massive financial burden of tax payers funding the ongoing, disastrous drug war, would it be worth it?
Is it finally time to stop making it a felony to possess 1 ounce or less of pot? Is it time to reform our massively expensive prison system by using a more common sense approach to incarceration? Do we still need to fill our jails and prisons and court system with simple marijuana possession charges?
— MISC Companies (@MISC_Companies) October 1, 2016
How do you feel about civil asset forfeiture? Is it time to stop the practice of allowing law enforcement to seize your personal assets, homes, vehicles, simply because of our existing marijuana laws? Is that kind of “Law Enforcement for Profit” scheme still acceptable to the people of Arizona?
Wouldn’t it be smarter to stop the criminalization of Marijuana and instead, regulate it and tax it like we do alcohol and invest the hundreds of millions of dollars in probably revenue back into our schools, drug rehabilitation programs and communities, instead of allowing the profits from the current black market to go straight to funding the drug cartels so they can invest in more weapons, technology, violence and murder in our communities?
Let’s analyze this article about Prop 205
In his article, “Going For The Green,” Matt Harding writes, “Arizona is one of five states where the legalization of recreational marijuana is on the ballot this election cycle. Proponents of the measure, known as Proposition 205, say a “yes” vote would be good for schools, which would benefit from the 15 percent tax that is due to be imposed if Prop 205 passes.
Many also say that it will free up law enforcement to deal with other issues.
(like serious crime, violence, gang crimes, sexual assaults, crime on children and the ability to focus on higher level law enforcement against violent criminal cartels)
Opponents say that it’s bad for businesses, bad for schools and many take the stance that it’s socially negative also.
(Probably bad for THEIR business. The business of the disastrous “War on Drugs” is massively profitable to the establishment politicians, status quo law enforcement and prison industrial complex. It’ll probably be bad for THOSE businesses, but the munchies businesses will be booming, with a dramatic decrease of our youngsters in the prison system over simple possession charges.)
— MomForce AZ (@MOMFORCEAZ) October 1, 2016
Here are some of the facts:
Proposition 205 is a 20-page ballot initiative sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and would permit “individuals 21 years and older to privately use, possess, manufacture, give away, or transport up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 marijuana plants at the individual’s residence.”
Violations of the law, like using marijuana in a public place or attempting to purchase the drug under the age of 21, would be petty offenses punishable by no more than a $300 fine and possible community service time.
No More Felony Charge and Prison Term for Simple Possession
(No more felony charges unreasonable fines for simple possession. I believe that’s more sensible than current law. Current DUI law would not change. You still can not drive under the influence.)
The law would also create a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, including a seven member Marijuana Commission appointed by the governor “to regulate and license entities involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and testing marijuana products.”
(I’m libertarian leaning and a “small gov” guy, I’m usually against increasing government paper shuffling operations, however creating this new department to regulate and tax pot will probably offset the decrease of the massively expensive, wasteful and out dated “War on Drugs” government and prison industrial complex costs we’ve been wasting money in for decades.)
There is much more to the law, but that is the essential basis — along with the fact that a 15 percent tax would be levied on all marijuana and marijuana products sold at one of the licensed dispensaries.
In Arizona, there are currently 91 operational medical marijuana dispensaries, which would essentially have a guarantee to become one of the 150 licensed facilities if the ballot measure is passed. The process for licensing implementation would begin on Jan. 1, 2017.
Phoenix, Arizona: Recreational marijuana: Question and answer guide to Prop. 205 … – AZFamily https://t.co/NoYyz7Ng0a
— Phoenix Arizona (@PhoenixArizona) October 1, 2016
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Arizona Local Communities and Schools
A fiscal analysis by Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee says that the sale of marijuana — which would be legalized beginning March 1, 2018 — would generate $53.4 million in fiscal year 2019 and $82 million in fiscal year 2020 from the 15 percent sales tax.
(And considering what happened in Colorado, it may actually be significantly more revenue than what is reported here, which would be great for Arizona and otherwise be blown by the criminal cartels on more weapons and violence.)
Broken down for FY2019, $8.6 million would go to the new Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control and the Department of Revenue; $6.8 million would go to local governments with marijuana-related businesses in their jurisdiction; $15.2 million would go to schools K-12 for operating costs; $15.2 million would go to K-12 schools for full-day kindergarten; and $7.6 million would go to the Arizona Poison Control System for public education campaigns about marijuana, alcohol, and other substances.
(And here lies the rub. I can see how the law enforcement community and the prison industrial complex would not like this. It cuts them out of their massive profit center they enjoy right now filling up the jails, court houses and prisons for simple possession cases.)
Arguments for “Yes” on Prop 205
J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which formed to support Proposition 205, dismissed the opposition’s idea that the bureaucracy created with the law would increase government.
(I believe the net effect would be a decrease in government with the effects on less arrests, less jailing, less court costs, less prison sentences, less law enforcement resources.)
In fact, he said, it would be a “retraction of government.”
“Prohibition has been one of the largest government programs we have in this country,” said Holyoak, asking rhetorically, “How much money have we spent on this War on Drugs?”
END THE FAILED, MASSIVELY EXPENSIVE and DEADLY “WAR ON POT!”
He cited numbers from U.S. Border Patrol that show fewer marijuana seizures at the U.S.-Mexico border, which he says is because there’s less Mexican marijuana coming into the country as states like Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington legalize.
In fiscal year 2015, 1,536,499 pounds of marijuana were seized along the U.S.-Mexico border. A total of 799,887 pounds came from Arizona’s sectors — majority from Tucson and a little more than 50,000 pounds in the Yuma Sector.
(Law Enforcement would then have resources to aggressively continue to fight against the Heroin and Methamphetamine problems. Opioid abuse a national epidemic. Fighting the cartels and criminal gangs is a much more beneficial use of law enforcement than on busting stoners or little old ladies growing a plant of pot for their arthritis and glaucoma.)
In fiscal year 2014, more marijuana was seized: 1,920,411 pounds along the U.S.-Mexico border and 1,023,857 pounds in Arizona’s sectors. The numbers were even higher in previous years.
Holyoak said that legalization has a “massive impact on cartel activity,” though a complete change isn’t going to happen overnight. Still, he said, legalizing recreational marijuana — especially along the southwest border states (Arizona would be the first) — is “chipping away” at cartel activity.
He likened marijuana prohibition to how alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s, saying that an “evolutionary change” won’t happen right away, but it’s a step in the right direction.
(And alcohol is a FAR MORE DANGEROUS drug than Marijuana. Alcohol causes more death, sickness and financial strain on our medical system with millions getting treated for liver disease and other diseases that alcohol causes or makes worse.)
He said that the money collected from the 15 percent tax — on top of the ordinary sales tax — will actually be about $122 million in fiscal year 2020.
“That’s money that stays in our state, and is used for good rather than going to criminal drug cartels,” Holyoak said.
While he said it’s “too early to tell” whether the law would reduce enforcement costs, he said “it’s sure a step in the right direction.”
Common Sense “Criminal Justice Reform” Saves Our Local Communities Hundreds of Millions in Wasted Taxation
Holyoak noted the “time, energy and efforts” that law enforcement spends on simple possession of marijuana crimes, currently a felony in Arizona. He said that these tens of thousands of people a year now have to live with a felony on their record for petty, non-violent offenses.
“Your employment opportunities just went down the tubes,” he said, also reiterating the extensive cost to law enforcement.
There are 587,100 regular consumers of marijuana in Arizona, according to a recent survey, Holyoak said. He suspects there are a “whole lot more” since some people might be afraid to tell a pollster “that they’re regularly committing felonies.”
Howard Blitz, chair of the Yuma County Libertarian Party and a Yuma Chamber of Commerce board member, said he’s leaning toward voting yes on the proposition, which he said the local party has officially endorsed.
End Unconstitutional “Profit Police” Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse
“From a libertarian perspective, none of this stuff should be regulated by the state,” Blitz said. “Not even alcohol.”
(I absolutely agree! Get the government out of your “stash” and “man cave!” It’s none of their business, anyway.)
While he said libertarians could argue against the ballot measure because it’s creates “another bureaucracy” and doesn’t allow the market to control marijuana, Blitz also said eliminating simple possession arrests would benefit law enforcement and would be in line with the libertarian mindset.
“From that standpoint, it’s going to make it legal, so it’ll reduce the number of arrests and people going to jail for just possessing this stuff,” he said.
(Plus, voting “no” on prop 205 keeps the already massive and intrusive bureaucracy in place anyway. It’s massively expensive to the tax payers, hasn’t made a dent in the so-called “War on Drugs” for generations and just keeps getting more bloated. Voting “yes” is actually more libertarian than keeping this monster government “business” running.)
“Right now, people are getting arrested and going to jail just because they have it on their person,” Blitz said. “You have all kinds of Bill of Rights issues with that.”
READ MORE: Arguments in Support of Prop 205
READ MORE: Arguments against Prop 205
Arguments for “NO” on Prop 205
Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot has come out against the proposition, citing law enforcement issues in Colorado as one of the main reasons to vote “no.”
(I fully support our law enforcement. But I’m not surprised here. Turf battle. Profit center under threat.)
Gigantic Big Money Turf Battle With Those Who Profit Massively From the Failed, Costly “War on Pot”
“The impacts on law enforcement have been very dramatic (in Colorado) when you look at the numbers of DUI drugs (driving under the influence of drugs),” Wilmot said.
“Our officers would obviously experience an increase in DUI drugs.”
(Oh cmon, now. DUI laws wouldn’t be affected. DUI alcohol is a massive issue and that won’t change. But DUI pot? Who would you rather pull over, a drunk going a 55 in a 25 and beligerant? Or a stoner who didn’t go when the light turned green, cruising at 5 on a 35? This “pot DUI” is a synthetic argument.)
In Colorado, 5 percent of drug and alcohol driving infractions involved marijuana in 2012, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Colorado State Patrol statistics earlier this year that showed in 2015, 7.6 percent of DUIs involved only marijuana while 14.6 percent involved marijuana and another substance.
(Which tells me that the people who usually drive drunk, just added pot to the mix, but it wasn’t pot necessarily causing the increase. Plus again, Prop 205 would not alter the existing DUI laws, anyway.)
Wilmot also noted that unlike in Colorado, where the DUI drug offense would be a misdemeanor, it’s unclear what — if anything — Arizonans driving with marijuana in their systems could be charged with.
“The way that this law is written, it ties your hands a lot,” he said, noting it’s not regulated like alcohol as proponents claim.
“They only want it to be a civil infraction,” Wilmot said. “It’s a slap on the hand.”
Common Sense Criminal Justice Reform: No More Felony and Prison for Simple Possession
(It’s pot. It should be a minor civil infraction. We don’t need this to be a felony anymore. In addition, the fees for these civil infractions can increase for multiple violations. That’s something the new department can manage and administer. I believe the current massive problem we have with alcohol related DUI is far more serious an issue than anything. And we’re not even talking about heroin and meth.)
There would be a $300 fine associated with people under the age of 21 trying to purchase marijuana, which would be a petty offense. There is also the possibility of community service.
An underage person trying to buy alcohol, on the other hand, could be charged with a misdemeanor and have a fine of up to $2,500 levied on them, and a possible jail sentence, according to current Arizona state law.
(And? Sounds like that would be a far better match of a crime and its penalty than we have now. Felony just for possession? Ridiculous.)
“Strawman” Fake Arguments: There’s NEVER been “marijuana related” traffic fatalities or overdoses…
While marijuana-related traffic deaths are a concern, there has never been a reported fatality directly attributable to a “marijuana overdose.” That’s because, as an 1988 ruling from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows, “a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette.”
(Seriously? “Marijuana related traffic deaths?” Hilarious.)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that there have been no overdoses, but adds that people who consume a large amount of marijuana “can experience extreme anxiety or psychotic reactions.”
Those obviously come into play when it comes to people getting behind the wheel of a car with too much THC — the active intoxicating ingredient in marijuana — in their systems.
(But what comes into play now when a person hangs out at a bar for a few hours and gets loaded on whiskey, vodka, beer, mai tais, margaritas, tequila shots? What’s worse? Marijuana isn’t even in that league and that’s already legally regulated, taxed and enforced. And, who in the world is going to test that theory and smoke 40,000 joints? Not going to happen. Scare tactic.)
FACT: Alcohol is FAR MORE Dangerous than Marijuana Will Ever Be
Again noting Colorado, he said, “The hospitals have seen a dramatic increase in kids ingesting this stuff.” He said it’s an endangerment situation where law enforcement resources would have to be used.
According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics this year, there were 87 cases of children ages 9 and younger exposed to marijuana called in to the state’s regional poison control center from 2014 through 2015. There were 76 total cases in the four years before it was legalized there, the study said.
(There’s also a danger of the kids getting inside of the cough medicines or tylenol, wine, wine coolers or “Mike’s Hard Lemonades” too.)
“It’s led to a lot of absenteeism in schools,” Wilmot added, saying that some Colorado schools “didn’t get a dime” after the state legalized marijuana.
(Bingeing on “Netflix and chill” has led to absenteeism too. And just because Colorado “didn’t get a dime for schools” doesn’t mean that’s going to happen in Arizona. In fact, our schools right now aren’t getting a dime from the multi million dollar marijuana business the drug cartels are operating inside the class rooms out of backpacks and thugs on the street outside the schools.)
“Children being exposed to this stuff is just scary all around,” he said.
Well, we wouldn’t want to hurt the cartel’s business, would we?
Wilmot also said he doesn’t believe it will “stifle the drug cartels,” as proponents claim.
(It already has. Please see above statistics on the significant drop in seized marijuana. The cartels will move to other drugs as they are have with heroin and meth. That doesn’t mean the current failing “war on marijuana” system should be kept as is.)
He said Colorado sheriffs have told him that they figure Mexican cartels already have their hands in the legal U.S. market.
(Thanks to their connections in politics. And if they do, I’d prefer they do their business legally without the violence of murders, beheadings and “turf wars” that they currently use in the black market underworld.)
John Courtis, executive director of the Yuma Chamber of Commerce, said that the chamber board voted overwhelmingly to oppose Prop 205 because it’s simply bad for business.
(Exactly. The status quo is far better for THEIR business… not the business of life for the people of Arizona. I don’t care about their business… I care about my life.)
Pouring on the Haterade on Those “Filthy Stoners” – This means your ‘arguments’ are too weak…
“Proposition 205 was written by dispensary owners and stoners,” said Courtis, who added that there’s nothing “recreational” about marijuana usage, especially since it’s around 10 times stronger today than it was 40 years ago.
(“…by dispensary owners and STONERS…” He’s already combative and arrogantly trying to demean the user of marijuana. Does he speak in such derogatory tones when talking to people who suck down a fifth of whiskey daily? To the alcoholics in his little “chamber” of commerce? How about the chain smokers?Most people will just ignore this guy’s opinion now.)
He said the bureaucracy that comes along with the legalization attempt creates “a new cartel.”
(HAHA! I’m more concerned about the documented murderous rampage of the Marijuana business’ current bureaucracy and “old cartel.” This guy’s hilarious.)
Courtis also said there will be no money to police the law.
(Because it will decrease the overall need to police marijuana to begin with. You see, he just revealed why he’s truly opposed to it. His interests lie in the fact that he wants to maintain the gravy train and massive profits that flow from your kids getting wrapped up in the illegal marijuana criminalized world. He doesn’t care about your kids… he cares about the profits that flow from the current failed “War on Drugs.” The establishment enriches themselves from the war on drugs in a wide variety of ways.)
Prop 205 Makes Sense But I Hate it Because it Doesn’t Give Me Power or Make Me Money!
He said Oregon’s legalization is capitalistic, while Arizona’s wouldn’t be. There, he said, 15 percent of the 25 percent tax goes to education and 10 percent goes to policing. It wouldn’t be anything like that in Arizona, he said.
(So he agrees then that Prop 205 is a smart thing to do but he just wants to get more money out of it. Ok.)
The Yuma Chamber would support anything that makes sense for businesses, Courtis said, noting that they decide whether or not to back a proposition by how pro-business it is, and if it promotes smaller government.
He said this law would do neither.
(Again, he’s not being truthful. The current state of the “War on Drug” government is already well beyond massive in size and massive in cost, which is bad for business for the people of Arizona. Prop 205 would actually shrink government and government costs when you calculate the decrease in the hyper expensive prison population, jail system, court system and all the money that stays in the criminal underworld which creates more costs in additional crime. To his other point about being “good for business” – just like beer and alcohol were good for the “tailgating” business and the grilling business… marijuana legalization will be great for the munchies and food businesses. He’s obviously trying to protect some other interests. Not making sense at all.)
Courtis said that legalized pot could have a financial benefit if it was done correctly, but he also cited the six-plant rule that allows people to grow in their own homes.
(…”if it was done correctly…” Sounds like he just wants more control and a cut of this “new cartel” he talks about. Again, this clearly shows he’s not against the intelligence of the proposition. He’s just upset that he’s not as “cut into” the deal as he wants to be. That’s HIS problem, not the problem of the Arizona people. I don’t appreciate him using his personal financial and control interests or wants, to keep my kids in danger of the current broken and failed “marijuana business.” This is why the people of Arizona need to pass Prop 205.)
“There’s no tax money in pot I can grow myself,” he said, adding that Arizona should have looked at other states to see what has worked and what has not.
(So this “small gov” guy all of a sudden wants Prop 205 to have bigger government to dip their hands and enrich themselves on the personal growing of pot too. So he wants small gov where it benefits him, but he loves bigger government if it’s about him getting more money. Again, he sells me on voting YES to Prop 205 more than anything. And I’m not even a consumer of pot!)
The Crooked, Rigged Establishment is Working Hard to Keep the Status Quo: That’s always bad news for you and the people of Arizona…
Gov. Doug Ducey was in Yuma last week to show his opposition for Prop 205, saying that regardless of personal beliefs on the legalization of marijuana, it would be a bad law.
He also told a group of local leaders and community members that he would also be against the legalization of marijuana partly because it “strips IQ points.”
(“…it strips IQ points.” What? That’s laughable. There a lot of other things being ingested by kids and adults that is probably lowering IQ points more than a joint. This is just old, tired, debunked talking points yet again. Not sincere at all. Sounds like the usual partisan, politicized talking points. I think the people of Arizona are sick and tired of inauthentic, professional politicians pontificating about things they don’t know shit about.)
Ducey told the Sun that the ballot measure doesn’t allow employees a safe workplace, and doesn’t allow for zero-tolerance drug policies in the workplace, which is why he believes it’s also bad for businesses.
Information about Proposition 205 and Proposition 206, which could raise the minimum wage, is available at this link on the Secretary of State’s website: http://apps.azsos.gov/election/2016/BallotMeasure/BallotMeasureList.htm.
READ MORE: Arguments in Support of Prop 205
READ MORE: Arguments against Prop 205
Early voting begins Oct. 12, and the general election will be held Nov. 8.
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