Arizona residents hoping for more legal means of coping with Election Day anxiety can take matters into their own voting hands today. Prop 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act, would legalize cannabis for recreational use (21+), permit plant growth in private residences, and expunge cannabis-related convictions from criminal records.
The measure also promises to be a boon for the state’s economy, with a new 16% sales tax on recreational cannabis helping to fund public services and new Justice Reinvestment fund, among others.
Arizona has come so far in its relationship with cannabis. When the state opened up for medical licenses nearly a decade ago, the debate around introducing the plant to Arizonans legally was a contentious one. But thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit and professionalism displayed by Arizona’s 100+ medical cannabis companies over the past eight years, not to mention the first-hand benefits of the plant experienced by people across the state, the bogeyman has been dispelled for good.
Part of our mission at Sol Flower is to further legitimize the plant we know and love as a viable, everyday option for patients seeking relief from a variety of symptoms outside traditional medicine. We do that through our tireless education and outreach work, and we’re not alone. As the population of our state grows, Prop 207 will allow more stores to follow the example set by Arizona’s cannabis pioneers as we enter this new frontier of legalization and decriminalization.
We believe in increased access to cannabis, and believe that possession of medicine is not a crime. Legalization is an enormous first step in criminal justice reform in Arizona, a state where over 40% of all arrests are for cannabis-related offenses. The opportunity to strike those from the record and create the opportunity for more small businesses is one we can’t pass up.
Still, while early polling numbers look like Prop 207 will achieve the outcome that Prop 205 narrowly failed to reach in 2016, it’s still critical that as many Arizonans as possible cast their vote today. We look forward to the day when cannabis is no longer controversial, and passing Prop 207 will help get us there.