Nearly four years have passed since Arizona voters rejected adult-use cannabis legalization—the only one of five states to reject it on the November 2016 ballot. Now advocates in the Grand Canyon State are gearing up again to legalize the plant in late 2020.
“We hope to have the 237,000 required signatures by May, and get the campaign going shortly after,” said Mikel Weisser, executive director of Arizona NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
Weisser, who has been involved with the state’s NORML chapter since 2014, expects 2020 to be a banner year for both medical and adult-use cannabis in Arizona. He said a beef between cannabis industry leaders and grassroots marijuana advocates led to “significant” differences in opinion on the failed Proposition 205 in 2016, causing even a chunk of pro-cannabis residents to vote against it.
Disagreements about business interests and growing rights, according to Weisser, have been ironed out and Arizona’s cannabis industry finds itself “more unified than ever.” To make up for the 2.5% loss four years ago, Weisser has already started campaigning in rural Arizona. He called the non-urban demographic “vital” to success at the ballot box.