Pubdate: Thu, 03 Nov 2016
Source: Arizona Range News (Willcox, AZ)
Copyright: 2016 Arizona Range News
Author: Eric Petermann


Candidate opinions on legalized marijuana appear to have less to do
with party affiliation and more to do with perceptions on whether
Proposition 205 is a solution to a problem, or a serious threat to

The citizens initiative is on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters whether
to allow the recreational use of marijuana. Arizona is one of nine
states that will vote on the issue in the General Election.

Though many prominent Republicans have come out against Prop. 205,
there are notable exceptions. Gov. Doug Ducey and other state GOP
leaders, including LD14 State Sen. Gail Griffin, are on record opposed
to the initiative, while locally, Republican Cochise County Supervisor
Pat Call has said it may be time to reallocate the resources committed
to the "War on Drugs."

The same dichotomy is found among Arizona Democrats. While the state
party is on record in favor of Prop. 205, State Rep. candidate Jason
Lindstrom plans to vote against the initiative. Lindstrom said the law
creates more government and is a poorly-drafted law. He indicated that
"... we only get once chance," to adopt legislation through the
citizen's initiative process, and Prop. 205 has serious flaws that
would be difficult to correct if it is adopted on Nov. 8.

Two Democratic candidates for state office, Representative candidate
Mike Holmes and Senate candidate Jaime Alvarez, are not stating their
position on the referendum.

"I'm not telling people how I'm voting for president, either," Holmes

The candidate said he does not publicly endorse a position on citizen

"It's the same answer for the minimum wage. These are questions that
all of the voters will have a say on, so let's see what they say."

Alvarez said he has done "lots of research" and talked with judges and
other public officials about their opinion of the impact that
decriminalizing marijuana will have on the community. He said "... the
voters will tell us," whether it's time for Arizona to allow the
recreational use of the drug.

Republican State Rep. candidate Drew John is opposed to Prop. 205 and
believes Arizona isn't prepared for what happens if the initiative is

"I don't think we have medical marijuana the way we want it yet," he

John said he would favor waiting "... a few years," to see what the
impact of recreational use is on Colorado and other states that have
decriminalized the drug.

Becky Nutt is opposed to Prop. 205. Nutt is running for State
Representative and was the top vote getter in the Aug. 30 Republican

"I do not support Prop 205 and there are many reasons for that, but I
think the overwhelming example of what has happened in Colorado surely
is a deterrent to anyone who may have, at any time, supported it," she
said in an email statement.

Candidates for County Attorney differ sharply in their opinions on the

Independent Tom Holz said he plans to vote in favor of Prop.

"Although Prop. 205 is far from perfect, I think it is better than the
status quo, and I'm planning on voting for it," he said. "Fighting a
war on marijuana is undemocratic and a waste of tax dollars and law
enforcement time. But we should give our children accurate information
about the dangers of mind-altering substances, particularly the risk
to the developing brain and the danger of driving while impaired or
riding with an impaired driver," Holz said.

His opponent, Republican Brian McIntyre, is outspoken in his
opposition to Prop. 205.

"As we have already seen with (medical marijuana), the voters were
sold a bill of goods which is now being used as a sword against law
enforcement efforts," McIntyre said in an interview earlier this year.
"As a personal matter, I do not agree with the concept," he said.

Though he did not say how he will vote, Republican Pat Call, who is
unopposed on the General Election ballot for reelection as the
District 1 Cochise County Supervisor, said Friday it may be time for
government to revisit its priorities on marijuana.

Speaking on radio during the Friday Focus show he hosts, Call said the
amount of money and law enforcement resources that are committed to
fighting trafficking of marijuana might be better used to address
other, more pressing social issues.

"When do we take that first step? In my opinion, when you keep doing
the same thing over and expecting different results, that's crazy," he
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