Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy has chosen the new political lobbyist and communications firm Axiom Public Affairs to represent their movement against the state's recreational marijuana legalization initiative.
The ballot measure's final draft was submitted to the Secretary of State's Office in April by the Marijuana Policy Project, which is also leading legal weed efforts for next year in California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. Safer Arizona, MPP of Arizona, and other advocacy groups are in the process of gathering the roughly more than 150,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the 2016 ballot.
The Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy PAC isn't down with any measure that would green light the use, sale, possession and cultivation of ganja. The group mobilizes around the state to raise awareness of the plant's alleged harms, as well as recruits donors and supporters who'll help with the crusade. They fear legalizing weed will mean it'll wound up in the hands of children, among other negative outcomes.
“Unlike the industry and lobby groups that are funding efforts to legalize a dangerous drug in Arizona, we at ARDP are all working on a volunteer basis, so we are delighted to be able hire the A-team of consultants in Arizona to help us out,” said a statement by Seth Leibsohn, chairman of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy.
Arizona's measure would allow adults 21 and up to buy no more than an ounce of pot through a state-licensed retailer or dispensary. An adult 21 or older would be able to grow six plants and there will be a limit of no more than 12 plants per household. There is a license, worth $7,500, for people who want to sell their pot, without jumping into a full-on dispensary.
MPP expects taxes, set at 15 percent, to bring revenue of between $60 million and $100 million. The funds would go toward sales regulation, education and public health efforts.
Safer Arizona plans to host a series of public forums to answer everyone's weed questions.
The deadline to present signatures is June 2016.