Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana in Arizona just got one step closer to their goal. The group filed an initiative with the state. They now need $150,000 signatures to get the measure on the 2016 ballot.
"It's not a matter of people saying marijuana is good, or marijuana is bad. What we are making the decision to do is taking this away from the illegal criminal cartels and instead tax and regulate it for the benefit of Arizona's education and health care," said attorney Ryan Hurley.
The plan would regulate marijuana like alcohol, anyone over 21 could consume, posses, and grow the plant in limited amounts.
Recreational marijuana would be taxed at 15%, the money would go to fund education and healthcare in the state.
But state lawmakers and regulators are wary. In a statement Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said; "I don't want to experiment with Arizona's children, other states have legalized marijuana, and I believe our state should take a "wait and see" approach.
The "medical" marijuana initiative narrowly passed. Still supporters of "recreational" marijuana use say they are confident their plan will not go up in smoke.
"2016 is 6 years after 2010, I think people have seen the examples of Colorado, Alaska, and Washington. The country is ready for this change," said Hurley.
The sponsors have until June 1, 2016 to gather enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.