Arizona Voters May Get Second Chance To Legalize Marijuana In 2018 Elections

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 - 7:26am

Voters may get another chance next year to legalize marijuana use.

Members of a group called Safer Arizona 2018 filed the paperwork Thursday with the secretary of state's office to begin collecting signatures to put the issue back on the ballot next year.

Proposition 205 failed last year by a narrow margin. But David Wisniewski, this group's executive director, said there are some differences that will make this proposal more acceptable.

"This is the real deal. This is actually repealing prohibition so there's no criminal penalties with cannabis," Wisniewski said. "And things left over, like selling to a minor or selling without a license, we hit those with fines. But you should never be criminalized for cannabis.”

Prop 205, by contrast, also limited sales to a set number of state-licensed dispensaries in specific locations, and gave them first preference to already operating medical pot dispensaries, a restriction that caused some criticism even by supporters of legalized marijuana.

The new initiative needs more than 150,000 valid signatures by July 2018 to qualify.

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