Arizona recreational marijuana would generate nearly 82 million per year in tax revenues according to a recent study as reported on Suntimes.com.
Of that revenue, $27.8 million would be directed toward general education funds. An equal amount would used to finance full-day kindergarten classes.
Getting the issue of legalizing Arizona recreational marijuana on the ballots for November is underway. The Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has helped to collect over 260,000 signatures. This is significantly more than the 100,000 required to get the “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” on the ballot, if the signatures are deemed valid.
Arizona’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol released a statement:
“Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society — it is less addictive, less damaging to the body, and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior. Adults who can legally consume alcohol should not be punished simply for using a less harmful substance.”
If the issue makes the ballot and is passed by voters, adults 21 and over will be allowed to legally posses one ounce of marijuana. Adults could grow up to 6 plants in a secure, enclosed space at home. Retail marijuana stores would be capped at 10% liquor. With approximately 180 liquor stores in Arizona, this would only mean 18 or less recreational marijuana retail locations. A 15% excise tax would be applied to all purchases of recreational marijuana. Local authorities could limit the number of shops and operating hours. A department will also be set up by the state to oversee the licensing of cultivation and retail stores.
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham was not in support of the legalization initiative. He vowed that the Arizona GOP would “do everything possible to help defeat this initiative in November.”
Currently there are four states that permit the sale of recreational marijuana and 25 (including Arizona) that have legalized medical marijuana.