Arizona Group Files 420,000 Signatures Supporting Recreational Marijuana on November Ballot

Locke Lord LLP

Last week, Smart and Safe Arizona reportedly filed 420,000 signatures with the Arizona Secretary of State in an effort to legalize adult-use marijuana. The proposed measure would permit those 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for non-commercial purposes at home, as well as allow for the expungement of certain marijuana convictions. The signatures must still be validated by the state and are subject to challenge, but with only 237,645 valid signatures needed to qualify to appear on the ballot, it appears that voters will get their chance to legalize recreational marijuana later this year. It’s also hard to believe that the number of signatures is a coincidence.

Fortunately for legalization proponents, Smart and Safe Arizona had done significant work before “social distancing” was a ubiquitous term. The group started collecting signatures in September 2019 and was confident that it already had enough signatures before it paused signature-collection efforts in March. That was not the case in Missouri, where legalization proponents failed to garner enough signatures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent poll suggests that if voters do get the opportunity to vote on adult-use cannabis this November, the measure has a good chance to pass. In other sunny news, Arizona set a new record high for medical marijuana sales in May (June sales figures were not available at the time this blog was published), with sales increasing 5.8% over the previous record set in March 2020 and over 30% year-over-year.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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