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9 Facts About Arizona’s Recreational Marijuana Initiative (2020)

In the November 2020 election, a restricted use of recreational marijuana will be on Arizona voter’s ballots. The ballot initiative essentially decriminalizes possession and use of small amounts of cannabis. Currently, possession of marijuana is a felony in Arizona. This initiative would end such prosecutions.

Arizona’s Marijuana initiative is titled the Smart and Safe Arizona Act. Below are some facts voters need to know when making their decision on the proposed law.


Juveniles and people under 21 would remain prohibited from possessing or using cannabis. The law would require individuals to be at least 21 years old to possess or consume marijuana.


The law limits adults (21 years or older) to possession of one (1) ounce of marijuana. In addition, no more than five (5) grams being cannabis concentrates.


Cultivation of home grown cannabis plants is limited six (6) at an individual’s primary residence. If two (2) or more individuals of the required age reside at same residence the limited is raised to twelve (12) plants.


Marijuana use would remain illegal in public places (restaurants, parks, sidewalks, etc). Offenders are guilty of a petty offense.


The law includes a 16% excise tax (the same as cigarettes and alcohol) placed on recreational marijuana products. Money from the excise tax would fund various state agencies and be dispersed between community college districts, police and fire departments, and the Highway User fund. Marijuana would also be taxed like any other retail good by the state and municipalities, who spend those tax dollars as they choose.


No marijuana products could be sold that imitate brands marketed to children or look like humans, animals, insects, fruits, toys or cartoons.


Marijuana edibles will be limited to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible, and limited to a maximum of 100mg of THC per package of edibles.


Driving impaired to any degree by marijuana would remain illegal. However, the law fixes the current loophole that permits the government to prosecute a DUI based on prior use (even days prior)


People previously convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana can petition to have the record expunged.

The above list is merely some essential highlights in the proposed law. There are several more restrictions place on the use, distribution and possession of cannabis. For example, Employers maintain the right to maintain a drug free workplace (this includes marijuana).

In addition, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) would have the ability make additional regulations concerning recreational marijuana use.

The ballot initiative received approximately 420K signatures. It was only needed approximately 238k signatures to be placed on the ballot.  You can read the entire Arizona ballot initiative here: Smart and Safe Arizona Act

Lawrence Koplow Signature


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