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A Slight Majority Wants To See Legal Marijuana In This State

A new poll from the Behavior Research Center discovered that a slight majority of Arizonans favor ending the prohibition on marijuana.

Results from the Rocky Mountain Poll released Wednesday indicate 53 percent popular support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal possession and use. A total of 39 percent are opposed to the idea.

“Arizonans are fed up with the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in a statement. “They do not think adults should be punished just for consuming a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It’s time for a more sensible approach, and that’s what our initiative proposes.”

Holyoak’s campaign is currently trying to put an end to marijuana prohibition through an initiative that proposes to regulate marijuana and tax it similarly to alcohol. Users over the age of 21 would be able to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from licensed dispensaries. A 15 percent tax would direct revenue to regulation costs and public health education. Specific cities would still have discretion to ban sales of the drug. If the initiative receives 150,000 signatures from registered voters, it will qualify for the ballot in November of 2016.

Arizona is home to two competing legalization campaigns. The second, called Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, is run by dispensary owner Jason Medar, who filed paperwork last week to authorize signature collection for a separate initiative. This effort came a month after the Marijuana Policy Project’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Since the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on what the end proposal would look like, they split ways. The proposal from Arizonans for Mindful Regulation allows possession of up to twelve plants, while MPP only permits six.

Carlos Alfaro, director of the MPP’s project, thinks the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will ultimately beat Medar’s proposal.

Arizona passed medical marijuana legislation back in 2010 by just 4,341 votes, making it one of the 23 states where marijuana can legally be used for medicinal purposes.

Conducted from April 29-May 15, the survey drew responses from 701 Arizonans, resulting in a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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