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Advocates Say Recreational Pot Legalization Would Pump Millions into Education

The Coloradoan

A group supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona says its proposed ballot initiative could pump millions dollars into state education every year. 

The initiative is sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project. It would allow those 21 and over to legally purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries. A 15 percent tax would be levied on those purchases. The Marijuana Policy Project estimates some 40 million dollars of the total revenue would go toward reinstating full-day kindergarten and school construction and maintenance statewide.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently found Arizona’s per-pupil spending for K-through-12 education was the third lowest in the nation.

Despite those statistics, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk oppose legalization of recreational marijuana. They say its use causes negative psychological and health effects.

In 2010, Arizona voters legalized marijuana for medical use.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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