There is a significant effort underway in Arizona to legalize marijuana, both via an initiative and at the Arizona Legislature. Arizona has a great chance of legalizing marijuana during the 2016 Election, and possibly before via the Arizona Legislature. A protest was held this week to in an effort to show Arizona lawmakers that such an idea has strong support from voters. Per AZ Central:
The protest organized by the advocacy group Safer Arizona was one of many planned for the first day of the 2015 Legislative session.
Demonstrators in coordinated garb held signs with phrases such as "Free the leaf," "Marijuana is safer than alcohol" and "The war on drugs is a war on U$." The signs reflected the issues on which the protesters focused throughout the event, including the felony status and fees that come with marijuana possession and its possible use in aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, among other health conditions.
Founder of Safer Arizona, Dennis Bohlke, 60, said the group plans to protest on the first day of the legislative agenda every year until it achieves success.
Arizona's Legislature has a prime opportunity to get in on this conversation and have a say on what marijuana legalization looks like in Arizona. Otherwise, if they pass, they will likely be forced to live with the initiative version that has a stellar chance of winning on Election Day in 2016. Hopefully Arizona's Legislature isn't like Oregon's, which had a similar chance to pass a bill, and instead is now scrambling to figure things out after they thought marijuana activists were bluffing when they said they would take the fight to the ballot (and obviously won!).