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Half of Arizona Voters Support Recreational Marijuana Initiative, Poll Finds

A new poll indicates that Arizona’s adult use marijuana initiative, once thought a long shot, has a real chance of passing this coming election.

There’s a good chance that Arizona could legalize adult use marijuana this November, as a new Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll has found that about 50 percent of Arizona voters are in favor of ballot measure Proposition 205. Nearly half of the 784 registered Arizona voters polled responded they would “likely vote” for the adult use initiative, while 40 percent said they intend to oppose it and 10 percent were undecided.

“We’ve always said this was going to be a close race, and that’s why we will have a vigorous campaign to educate voters,” Barrett Marson, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona, told the Phoenix New Times. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is a committee that was formed to support Proposition 205; the campaign collected and submitted 150,642 signatures of Arizona voters to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

Proposition 205 calls for the legalization of possession and consumption of one ounce or less of marijuana by adults aged 21 and older. Adults could also legally cultivate up to six plants in their homes. A Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, tasked with regulating the adult use program, would be established under the measure. A 15 percent tax would be applied to all sales, with revenue being distributed to the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, school districts and charter schools, and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Results from the latest poll indicate a significant shift in Arizona voter attitudes over the past few months: A survey conducted in July found that just 39 percent of Arizonans supported the measure, compared to 52.5 percent that responded they intended to vote ‘no.’

The Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News survey found that Democrats were most likely to support Proposition 205, with 64 percent saying they are likely to vote for the initiative, compared to 52.9 percent of independents and 35.1 percent of Republican voters. Also found to more strongly support the recreational marijuana initiative were males (54.6 percent) and voters with a bachelor’s degree or higher (52.7 percent). Age also appears to influence support for the initiative, with 66.4 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 35 responding they were in favor of the proposition, compared to 50.9 percent of voters aged between 36 and 50 and 42.5 percent of voters aged 51 and older.

A fiscal analysis of Proposition 205, published in July by the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, found that the passing of Proposition 205 would mean $495.8 million in annual marijuana sales and nearly $124 million in annual tax revenue and license fees. The analysis predicts that the program would distribute over $55 million every year to the Arizona school districts.

Arizona is one of nine states that will be voting on cannabis initiatives this coming election. Arizona residents have until October 10 to register to vote. If Proposition 205 this November, the new law will take effect September 1, 2018.

You can read the full Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll here. Learn more about Arizona’s current marijuana laws by visiting our education page.