Voters in Arizona will join Massachusets, California, Nevada and Maine voters this November when they vote on Pro-205. The initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use gathered over 170 thousand signatures from registered Arizona voters in order to appear on the ballot this election.
While Arizona remains a largely conservative state, this ballot initiative could actually pass making Arizona the 5th state to legalize pot for non-medical use along with Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.
The latest polling data on the ballot initiative shows surprisingly high support for the proposition with 50% of registered voters saying the will vote YES, only 40% saying they will vote NO on 205, and 10% undecided. But there is another factor which could bode very well for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol which is running the YES on 205 effort and is sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project.
This factor which could allow the proposition to sail through and that is the up-ticket races. The Real Clear Politics average of polls currently lists Arizona as a “toss-up” state, meaning Hillary Clinton will continue to put money into building a ground game to drive the outnumbered Democrat base to the polls this November. The Democrat districts in Arizona are largely college towns and poor neighborhoods where legalization enjoys a much larger base of support than in the rest of the state.
This, coupled with the current libertarian leanings of the Arizona conservative movement and the very low enthusiasm on the right for the McCain campaign, spell trouble in November for Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy which is a non-profit paid for by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and is running the NO on 205 campaign.
Marijuana possession or use remains illegal under federal law in all 50 states and the D.C., but the DOJ has adopted a laissez-faire posture regarding enforcement of federal on marijuana laws which have been in place for almost 8 decades.