This November 2020 election, cannabis legalization initiatives will appear on the ballots of five states: Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. Every Sunday until November 3, Canna Law Blog will publish a post centered on one of these state ballot initiatives, and the current laws surrounding cannabis in that state. Today is the first post, in which we discuss the ballot initiative in Arizona, Proposition 203, or the Marijuana Legalization Initiative.
What are current Arizona’s laws surrounding cannabis?
In 2010, Arizona legalized medical cannabis through the passage of the ballot measure Proposition 203, known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Initiative. The enacting statute, known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), allows Arizona residents with medical conditions to possess certain amounts of cannabis for medical use, with qualified patients and caregivers allowed to purchase cannabis from specific clinics. This law charged the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) with regulating the sale and use of medical cannabis. Additionally, the AMMA protects patients who use medical cannabis from state arrest and prosecution as well as discrimination from employers.
The AMMA was controversial, barely scraping into law with 50.1% of the vote. Many political action groups and politicians lobbied