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Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot

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Arizona voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The Secretary of State’s Office has officially certified the necessary signatures for the measure to appear on the November ballot. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Proposition 205 would allow state officials to regulate marijuana much like alcohol. Adults 21 and older could to possess small amounts of pot, and it would be taxed at 15 percent. Much of the revenue would go toward education and healthcare. Supporters of the measure needed 150,642 signatures, but submitted more than 258,699 in June.

Meanwhile, opponentsof recreational marijuana have challenged the initiative in court. They say legalization backers have mislead voters during the campaign, and want a Maricopa County superior court judge to throw out the measure. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

A survey last month by OH Predictive Insights showed more than half of likely Arizona voters oppose recreational legalization, with less than 40 percent in support.

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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