Arizona marijuana initiative heads to November ballot

Arizona residents will soon be voting yes or no on marijuana use.

The Arizona Secretary of State officially certified The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's petition to legalize marijuana in Arizona, which means the measure will be placed on November's ballot as Proposition 205.

"It's exciting, it's a step forward, but it's not surprising," J.P. Holyoak said. "We did things the right way, we did things properly."

Those in favor of "Yes on 205" say it would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol.

"I think you actually take the criminal element out of it, there's no longer underground, it's above ground just like alcohol during a prohibition era," said Mike Capasso, a former DEA agent. "Once it ended, there was no more Al Capon, there was no more of that. Coors and Budweiser were making the money and being taxed."

According to organizers, it would also enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and education programs.

The Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimated the initiative would generate more than $123 million in annual tax revenue and license fees by 2020, including more than $55 million per year for K-12 education and full-day kindergarten programs.

"This isn't a question of no marijuana or yes marijuana, it's a quantum," Holyoak said. "If we are going to tax it, to regulate it, send it to the schools or keep it illegal for criminal drug dealers."

For more information on Prop. 205 and The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, click here.