There are already four states that have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. And I've already reported that a measure to do the same has been approved in two more states -- California and Maine.
Now it looks like a third state will be voting on marijuana legalization in the November election. Arizona required 150,642 signatures on a petition to get the measure on the November ballot. On June 30th, petitions with 258,582 signatures were submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State -- more than 100,000 signatures than are needed. The signatures will have to be vetted, but with that many, it is likely the measure will be approved and put on the November ballot.
Petition-drive president J.P. Holyoak said:
“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive. Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. We look forward to continuing the public conversation about the initiative, and we think most will agree it is a sensible step forward for our state.”
Legalizing marijuana is expected to raise $82 million a year in tax revenues (and about $55 million each year will go to help fund K-12 education).