by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel
At a board meeting held on Saturday, February 20th in Washington, DC, the NORML Board of Directors voted to endorse the Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona. That initiative is currently awaiting official approval for the ballot in November.
The NORML Board reversed its former policy of waiting until an initiative has officially qualified for the ballot before endorsing it, believing our endorsement could have a greater impact on the eventual outcome if it came earlier in the process.
The Board took this action aware there was another proposed initiative in Arizona that included provisions that were even more consumer-friendly, but that alternative was perceived as having little chance of qualifying for the ballot (which proved to be true) or being approved by a majority of the state’s voters.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) proposal would end marijuana prohibition; legalize personal use and possession by adults of an ounce of marijuana, and personal cultivation of up to six plants of marijuana; establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate commercial cultivation, testing, transportation and sale to establish a legally regulated market where consumers can obtain their marijuana.
The NORML Board also endorsed full legalization initiatives that will appear on the ballot in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and California; as well as medical use initiatives expected to appear on the ballot in Missouri and Florida.