YUMA, Ariz. – Arizona voters could potentially decide if the Grand Canyon State will legalize recreational marijuana this November.
Arizona is one of eight states that could have recreational marijuana on the ballot.
Representatives of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will count petitions to see if there is enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot. More than 250,000 residents signed the petition and only 150,000 are needed for the act to be put to a majority vote.
The act would treat pot the same as alcohol.
“It is to be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol is regulated,” says John Gleason the chairperson for Yuma County Cannabis Coalition.
If weed is legalized in Arizona, you must be 21 or older to purchase. Individuals could purchase up to an ounce and up to six plants. It would also be taxed 15 percent and some of the money would go toward education.
Yuma County residents say they think it should be legalized to decrease crime and to help the local economy.
One resident says, “I think it serves a purpose like alcohol does, anyone over the age of 21 can buy alcohol so I don’t really see the difference.”
Another person says, “I think it’s a business and it’s money for people. If it’s legal and we can make money then that is what we should do.”
Gleason, who is also a 22-year veteran, says legalization would also help other veterans cope with PTSD.
“Any number of veterans I could point to would tell you, ‘When I started using marijuana I was able to get off the other drugs.’ They literally say marijuana saved their lives,” said Gleason.
If passed in November, recreational marijuana would not be sold to the public until March 1, 2018.