I spent three days in Arizona last week supporting the ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana there. Arizona is one of five states where voters will consider similar measures on November 8. What happens in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, along with Arizona could tip the balance toward marijuana legalization for the entire nation.
The Arizona initiative really matters to many people. Possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony under state law with a penalty of up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $150,000. There have been over 150,000 arrests for adult marijuana possession in Arizona over the past ten years. Minorities are two and one-half times more likely to be arrested.