The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will begin airing a new TV ad Friday in support of Prop. 205 that asks voters to pick schools over criminals and cartels. It can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/9ZErDn4EUlw.
The ad begins by highlighting a media fact check of an ad being aired by opponents of Prop. 205 that claims a similar initiative approved by Colorado voters in 2012 has not fulfilled its promise of raising money for schools. KTVK called the claim “downright false.” In FY 2015-16, marijuana taxes actually raised more than $40 million for schools in Colorado, exceeding the amount promised by Amendment 64 in 2012. In addition to the $40 million raised for school construction projects, Colorado officials recently announced they will use some of the state’s $66 million in surplus marijuana tax revenues to fund anti-bullying programs in schools throughout the state.
The ad goes on to highlight the tax component of Prop. 205, which requires 80% of marijuana tax revenues to be distributed to Arizona school districts for K-12 education. The Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates the initiative will raise more than $123 million in total annual revenue for the state, including more than $55 million per year for schools.
“If we don’t act, the real winners will be criminals and cartels, who already sell marijuana illegally,” the ad continues. “You decide who wins. Criminals and cartels? Or Arizona schools?”
Several Arizona state officials and school board members recently endorsed Prop. 205, with several citing the money it will raise for education and the blow it will deal to criminals and cartels who sell marijuana illegally.
“Prop. 205 would deal a devastating blow to the criminal market that sells marijuana to our kids and would replace it with a tightly controlled system,” said Rep. Charlene Fernandez, a past member of the Yuma Union High School District Governing Board. “As an added bonus, Arizona schools would receive an estimated $55 million per year from the sale of regulated marijuana. I’m voting ‘yes’ on Prop. 205, and I encourage other Arizonans who care about our kids to do the same.”