A group of concerned parents, organized for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana to protect teens, will launch a Father's Day-themed billboard Thursday in support of the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona.
Parents for Responsible Regulation (PRR) will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. MST in front of the billboard in downtown Phoenix (two blocks south of Chase Field on the southwest corner of 7th and Lincoln Streets).
The billboard, which will be up through Father's Day on Sunday, features a man embracing his teen son and stating: "Please, card my son. Regulate the sale of marijuana and help me keep it out of his hands." It directs viewers to RegulationWorks.org, which details several ways in which regulating marijuana like alcohol would help protect teens.
Statement from PRR co-chair Sonia Martinez, a Gilbert-based attorney, past president of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and mother of two children, ages 9 and 10:
"Our current system of marijuana prohibition has failed to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens. It forces marijuana sales into the underground market, where customers are never asked for ID and often exposed to other illegal products. In a regulated system, checks for proof of age would be mandatory and strictly enforced. I would do everything in my power to protect my children, and that's why I am speaking out in support of regulating marijuana like alcohol."
Statement from PRR co-chair Ryan Tracy, a Mesa-based small business owner and father of two children, ages 3 and 6:
"The growing and selling of marijuana are currently being relegated to criminal enterprises, oftentimes including cartels and gangs. In an illegal market, suppliers cannot count on law enforcement officials to step in when business-related disputes occur, so they resort to violence. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are spending time arresting and prosecuting adults for simple marijuana possession that would be better spent addressing more serious crimes.
Statement from PRR co-chair Kathy Inman, a Gilbert-based mother and executive director of MomForce AZ:
"Marijuana prohibition clearly is not working, so it's time to take a more sensible approach. Through responsible regulation, our state has dramatically reduced teen alcohol and tobacco use over the past decade. We would see similar success and fewer problems if we regulated marijuana in a similar fashion."
WHAT: Parents for Responsible Regulation news conference to launch a Father's Day-themed billboard that highlights how regulating marijuana like alcohol would help protect teens
WHEN:Thursday, June 16, 10 a.m. MST
WHERE: In front of the billboard at approximately 690 E. Lincoln St. in downtown Phoenix (two blocks south of Chase Field on the southwest corner of 7th and Lincoln Streets)
WHO: Approximately two dozen local parents
Kathy Inman, executive director of MomForce AZ, mother, and grandmother
Sonia Martinez, attorney, mother
Ryan Tracy, small business owner, father
J.P. Holyoak, CRMLA chairman, father
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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMarijuanaAZ.org.