Arizona has acquired over 30,000 signature on a cannabis initiative, effectively putting it on the November 2020 ballot. This will be Arizona’s second opportunity to legalize cannabis, the first failing in 2016. Once the initiative received enough signatures, the campaign suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the health and safety of everyone, we have suspended signature gathering for the time being but are in good shape,” said Eric Chambers, a member of the campaign.
Against All Odds
This is a huge accomplishment for the residents of Arizona. The next step is for these people to actually vote in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults. Until then, advocates must focus on gaining more supporters, and now might be the best time to do it.
As the world continues to try to figure out how to contain the COVID-19 virus, many Americans are being sent home to work, or worse, laid off. During this time, dispensaries and deliveries are still considered essential in many states. One can only imagine how many people in Arizona are sitting at home right now wishing they could get stoned.
Alternatively, you could also give them the facts. Here is what would happen if Arizonians voted in favor of legalizing cannabis. First and foremost, cannabis would become accessible to adults 21 and up. This also means those people can cultivation cannabis from home, up to six plants. Second, it would establish dozens of recreational dispensaries across the state. Finally, it would decriminalize many cannabis-related offenses, such as possession.
Beginning of a Trend
Arizona achieving this many signatures during a time like this is more than just lucky. Many believe more states will begin to accelerate in the process of cannabis legalization. One of which is Jessica Rabe, co-founder of DataTrek Research. She believes that as this virus continues to spread throughout the world, the economy is going to deteriorate.
In her article, she claims “there’s a simple and effective solution for states and cities to help cover their huge budget shortfalls after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides: legalize recreational sales of marijuana.”
Take for example New York, one of the hardest-hit states in the United States. Currently, the state’s economy is taking a massive hit and will continue to until this virus is contained. As more money is lost from the market, more money will eventually have to acquire through taxes and other sources of revenue. One of which could be cannabis. The estimated tax revenue from this decision could bring in over $1 billion in revenue every year.
“We’ve been thinking a lot about how life will change post-virus, and one big difference will be that state and local governments are going to encounter large unexpected tax receipt shortages,” Rabe wrote.
Arizona has accomplished getting the initiative to legalize cannabis put on the 2020 ballot. Hopefully, Arizonians see this opportunity and capitalize on it. Doing so will help so many people in that state as well as the local economy. Allowing adults to chose to participate in this market would slowly resurrect any deflations caused by the virus.
There is currently no sign of when this pandemic is going to end. In fact, it’s very possible a shelter in place order could be put in place across the state. Many residents will realize what they could have if they simply vote in favor of it.