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Colorado: Officials Ask Arizona Group To Pull Marijuana Political Ads

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Legislators in Colorado say the group Arizonans For Sensible Drug Policy are airing misleading political advertisements that oppose the legalization of marijuana in the state of Arizona.

Proposition 205, if passed, aims to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

The group opposed to Proposition 205 began airing "No on 205" television ads that claim Colorado schools did not receive the millions of dollars promised and that politicians spent more on regulating the industry.

However, the Colorado officials who played a central role in the budgeting of marijuana taxes say this is not true and that more than $138 million went to schools and less than 10 percent of pot tax revenues were spent on regulation.

Colorado Senator Pat Steadman and Representatives Millie Hamner and Jonathan Singer emailed Seth Leibsohn and Sheila Polk, the leaders of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, citing what they say are multiple incorrect claims on their "No on 205" ads talking about marijuana tax revenue spending and rates of teen pot use in Colorado.

They counter the ad's statements with information drawn from three state government documents they attached to the email.

Here is the transcript of the email:

Dear Mr. Leibsohn and Ms. Polk:

Arizona: Failed Marijuana Initiative Plans To Fight Surviving Measure

One of Arizona's two marijuana legalization measures has failed to make the ballot; they'll fight the remaining measure.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Organizers of one of Arizona's initiatives to legalize recreational use of marijuana has fallen short of its goal to collect the required 150, 642 valid signatures by the deadline, with only about 120,000 collected.

Arizonans for Mindful Regulation is now trying to kill the remaining measure, but the organization's website says that they will regroup for 2018.

The remaining measure, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, will almost certainly make the ballot. The group claims to have more than 200,000 names on petitions within plenty of time for the July 7 deadline.

The measure still alive says anything over 2 1/2 ounces remains a felony. The proposal by Arizonans for Mindful Regulation made possession of any amount up to eight ounces a misdemeanor.

Had both measures qualified for the ballot, it could have created confusion for voters who may have been unaware they could vote for both. That raised the potential of splitting the pro-marijuana vote, leaving each measure short of the majority.

Arizonans for Mindful Regulation organizer Jason Medar said that he and his allies are forming a political committee to try to convince voters to reject the other initiative.

Arizona: Marijuana Supporters Call On Opposition To Return $10K Alcohol Contribution


The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), the committee backing an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona that is expected to appear on the November ballot, on Wednesday called on leaders of the committee opposing the measure to return a contribution from the alcohol industry.

According to a report published earlier this week by the Phoenix New Times, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) received a donation of $10,000 last month from the Arizona Wine and Spirits Association, a trade group representing various alcohol wholesalers.

The leaders of ARDP, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and radio host Seth Leibsohn have repeatedly argued that marijuana needs to remain illegal because it is too dangerous to regulate for adult use. Yet, by every objective measure, marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. See for details.

“Using alcohol money to fund their campaign to maintain marijuana prohibition is grossly hypocritical,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “They want to continue punishing adults for using marijuana, but they have no problem accepting five-figure donations from purveyors of a far more harmful substance.

Arizona Supreme Court Says State May Not Deny Medical Marijuana To Felons On Probation


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday issued two rulings barring courts and prosecutors from denying medical marijuana use as a term of probation, if the convicted felons in question have valid medicinal cannabis authorizations.

In the first case, a Cochise County man convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to sell was forbidden from using medical marijuana by a probation officer after his release from prison, reports Michael Kiefer at The Arizona Republic. In the second, a woman pleading guilty to DUI in Yavapai County refused to abstain from using medicinal cannabis as a term of her probation, prompting the prosecution to withdraw the plea agreement. Both had valid Arizona medical marijuana cards.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that both probationers had the right to use marijuana for their medical conditions under state law, and that prosecutors and courts couldn't take that away from them as a term of probation.

"The Supreme Court is recognizing what the people decided when they passed the initiative: You can use your medicine," said David Euchner, assistant Pima County public defender. Euchner argued in both cases as a member of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

The court ruled, however, that the Yavapai County Attorney's Office had the right to withdraw from the offered plea deal because it had not yet been accepted by a judge.

Arizona: Medical Marijuana Packaging Bill Loses Prosecutors' Support

(Graphic: Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Members of the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council have withdrawn their support for legislation their members had helped write that would have regulated packaging of medical marijuana edibles. The council voted last week to no longer support Senate Bill 1440 because of the conflict between the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act and federal law.

The bill would have enforced the use of bland packaging on candy containing cannabis, but it will likely die now, reports Lindsey Collom at The Arizona Republic. The attorneys said it's too hard to keep legislating medical marijuana rules in a legal atmosphere that needs to be decided in the courts.

The council withdrew its support for SB 1440 because it conflicts with an argument prosecutors are making in a case before the Arizona Supreme Court, stemming from a case where a Yuma County Superior Court judge ordered the Sheriff's Department to return marijuana seized from a California woman who was a legal medical marijuana patient in her home state.

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