An initiative drive has launched in Arizona aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis. Proponents of the initiative – which is modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64 – need to gather roughly 260,000 signatures by July 3rd, 2014, in order to put the proposal to a vote of the people in the 2014 general election ballot.
The initiative drive was launched by Dennis Bohlke, a 59-year-old computer programmer who is running the initiative under the organizational name of Safer Arizona.
“The intent of the initiative is to legalize marijuana in Arizona and to treat it as we treat alcohol,” stated Bohlke.
The effort would amend the state Constitution to allow people 18 and older “to consume or possess limited amounts” of marijuana, and would authorize state-licensed retail outlets.
According to Karen O’Keefe of the Marijuana Policy Project, the initiative would “makes sure the state wouldn’t waste any more money arresting people for using a substance that’s objectively safer than alcohol and tobacco.”