Pro marijuana activists rally outside capitol

Ahead of the State of the State address a large vocal group of marijuana supporters gathered at the State Capitol. Their hope is that lawmakers will make pot legal during this legislative session.

"Let's regulate this plant once and for all," said protesters.

Armed with signs and banners, the group of pro-marijuana demonstrators showed up outside the capitol wanting their message heard the first day of the legislative session.

"We want to come out here and show them we support the legalization of marijuana," said one protester.

Protesters believe now is the right time to legalize pot, following in the footsteps of states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, which have already done so. 

Representative Mark Cardenas from District 19 is planning to introduce a bill that could help legalize pot in Arizona.

"When you've got pharmaceuticals taking lives, I'm for cannabis," said 

However, not everyone is so sure that now is the right time to legalize marijuana. "I think the reality is it's highly unlikely any legislation is going to move forward to legalize marijuana here in Arizona," said AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Brnovich says Arizona needs to see how the legalization has affected other states before jumping on board. "These other jurisdictions that have recently legalized it, I think we should take a wait and see approach. Let's see how things play out in those jurisdictions, I don't want us experimenting with our kids."

Demonstrators argue pot is not as dangerous as alcohol. "They've been told all their lives that this is a bad thing, and it's been lumped in with the other really toxic bad drugs," said another protester.

The activists at the event say passing pot could be a big boost to Arizona's economy. It's reported that the legalization of pot in Colorado has brought millions of dollars into the state the first year it was legal.
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