Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2016
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2016 The Arizona Republic
Author: EJ Montini


If Trump wins, some of us will need it.

If Clinton wins, some of us will need it.

And since none of us knows for sure how the election in November will 
go, we ALL need to vote for ... legalizing marijuana.

Stop the presses! Finally, something we agree on.

The signatures are in and have been validated. Arizona voters will 
get to decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use at 
the same time we choose between Donald or Hillary. At least, we'll 
get to make that decision if the agents of fear, who want to steal 
your right to vote, don't prevail in court.

Opponents of what is now called Proposition 205 have gone to court to 
challenge the initiative in the hopes of preventing all of us from 
getting the chance to determine for ourselves if marijuana should 
continue to be criminalized at the current level.

We know that it should not. We know that prohibition isn't working 
and hasn't been working for generations.

Even in a conservative state like Arizona there is a decent chance 
voters would elect to make a change.

Under the initiative, adults 21 and older could possess up to 1 ounce 
of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes without 
obtaining licenses, as long as the plants are in a secure area. The 
initiative would create a Department of Marijuana Licenses and 
Control to regulate the "cultivation, manufacturing, testing, 
transportation and sale of marijuana."

The non-partisan Tax Foundation said Arizona could collect as much as 
$113 million annually in new tax revenue if marijuana is legalized 
for recreational use and taxed at 15 percent.

It won't be an easy campaign. Already, those opposed to the 
proposition are using cheap fear tactics to frighten you into voting 
against it.

They're not necessary. Anyone with common sense knows that legalizing 
marijuana and treating it like alcohol isn't a magic solution. 
Alcohol consumption remains a problem. Abuse is a problem. The same 
will hold true for marijuana. It will be messy. And we'll never 
completely sort things out because there always will be people who 
abuse substances and act in ways that hurt themselves or others.

But alcohol was a problem before and during prohibition. And 
prohibition added even more problems. Just as the prohibition against 
marijuana costs us needless billions in legal fees, law enforcement 
and prison costs, let alone allowing criminal cartels to collect all 
the untaxed profits from sales.

It's not an easy decision, but it's a clear one. Especially now. 
Think selfishly, in case your side loses. Or think generously, in 
case the other side loses.

The fact that our country, like it or not, is about to elect either 
Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton proves one thing:

We NEED marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom