Arizona Joins the Medical Marijuana Club

By Phillip Smith, Drug War Chronicle

After trailing on election day and all the way through most of the late vote counting, Arizona’s medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 203, pulled ahead at the end of last week and, with all votes counted, was declared the unofficial winner Saturday. The final tally had the measure winning, 50.1% to 49.9%. The measure won by about 5,000 votes out of more than 1.6 million cast.

“Voters in Arizona have sided with science and compassion while dealing yet another blow to our nation’s cruel and irrational prohibition on marijuana,” said Rob Kampia, Marijuana Policy Project executive director, in a statement greeting the outcome. “Arizona’s law now reflects the mainstream public opinion that seriously ill people should not be treated like criminals if marijuana can provide them relief, and that doctors should be able to recommend marijuana to patients if they believe it can help alleviate their suffering.”

The Marijuana Policy Project had advised and helped finance the campaign. Arizona will now become the 15th medical marijuana state when official results are announced November 29. The state will then have 120 days to create regulations.

Phillip Smith is an editor at DRCNet.