j.p. holyoak

Arizona: Proposition 205 Campaign Concedes Marijuana-legalization Loss

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Arizona's Prop 205 campaign finally conceded Tuesday afternoon, ending the high hopes of hundreds of thousands of residents that the state would legalize marijuana.

From the first voting results reported, the initiative's future looked bleak. The Associated Press called it a "no" vote later that night. But marijuana supporters and election watchers remained hopeful, knowing that the final votes could make a difference, like they did in the 2010 election, when legal medical marijuana was approved.

California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana. Voters in North Dakota and Florida said "yes" to medical marijuana. But Arizona's Prop 205 was rejected 52-48.

The initiative would have given adults 21 and older the freedom to possess and use up to an ounce of dried marijuana, up to five grams of concentrated resin like hashish, and up to six live plants with a maximum of 12 per household. It would also have created a system of retail stores, giving preference to existing, nonprofit medical-marijuana dispensary companies. The campaign submitted about 259,000 signatures to the state in July to make the ballot.

Here's the entire statement just released from J.P. Holyoak, chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona and a local dispensary operator:

Arizona: Susan Sarandon Endorses Prop 205 With Phone Messages

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol recently announced that Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has officially stated she endorses Prop 205 in Arizona to legalize cannabis for those 21 and older.

In addition to Sarandon’s endorsement, the campaign is sending out a message from her to the phones of thousands of voters in the state. The message encourages them to “vote for taxing and regulating marijuana by voting ‘yes’ on Prop. 205.”

Proposition 205, similar to measures on the ballot in four other states this election, would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to six cannabis plants, and purchase cannabis and cannabis products from a licensed retail outlet.

“[W]hether someone uses marijuana or not we probably all prefer for law enforcement to spend their time preventing and investigating serious crimes rather than marijuana offenses”, the message starts. “Also regulating marijuana will take it out of the hands of criminals and instead generate jobs and tax revenue”.

The message ends with Sarandon saying “Please vote for taxing and regulating marijuana by voting yes on Prop 2015 on November 8th. Thank you.”

“Ms. Sarandon is one of the most widely recognized and well-respected actresses in the nation,” says J.P. Holyoak, Chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Arizona: Maker Of Deadly Fentanyl Donates Half A Million To Defeat Pot Legalization

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Advocates of marijuana legalization have been saying for a while that pharmaceutical companies are one of the major supporters of pot prohibition. States that have legalized marijuana have seen a decrease in opioid abuse.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that fentanyl manufacturer Insys Therapeutics has donated $500,000 to foes of the Prop 205 marijuana legalization initiative.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid several dozen times more potent than heroin. It has been linked to many opioid overdose deaths across the country, especially when mixed with heroin. Marijuana has no reported overdose deaths, ever.

The only product Insys makes is Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray. In just the past month, two former company employees pleaded not guilty to federal charges related to an alleged kickback scheme to get doctors to prescribe Subsys. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the company charging that Insys hawked the drug to doctors for off-label prescribing.

Insys' "desire for increased profits led it to disregard patients' health and push addictive opioids for non-FDA approved purposes," Madigan wrote.

Insys says on its website that it is working "to develop pharmaceutical cannabinoids."

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Poised To Appear On November Ballot

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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State on Thursday; 150,642 valid signatures needed to qualify

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee released a report Wednesday that estimates passage of the initiative will generate nearly $82 million in annual tax revenue, including more than $55 million for Arizona schools

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A citizen initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is poised to appear on the November ballot after proponents turned in their petition Thursday with more than enough signatures to qualify.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State. With 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters needed to place the measure on the ballot, that appears to be a comfortable margin. The secretary of state is expected to determine whether the initiative has qualified by late August.

“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Arizona: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Submitting Signatures

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On Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m., campaign leaders and supporters will hold a news conference just prior to handing over more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) will submit more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials on Thursday to place an initiative on the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona.

Campaign leaders and initiative supporters will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. in a temporary office located on the second floor of 77 E. Weldon Ave. in Phoenix, where representatives of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will be accepting and reviewing the petitions.

Initiative backers need at least 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. At Thursday's news conference, they will announce the total number of signatures they will be submitting.

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

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

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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 http://marijuana-vs-alcohol.org 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: Marijuana Legalization Backers Launch Mother's Day Billboards

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Backers of an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona launched a pair of Mother’s Day-themed billboards in Phoenix and Tucson on Monday. An image of the billboard is attached, and a high-resolution version is available at http://bit.ly/1N3OkrX.

The ads, which are targeted at younger voters, feature a young woman sitting with her mother and ask: “Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?” The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members — especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is.

The billboards direct viewers to a website — http://TalkItUpArizona.org — that allows them to send a message about marijuana to their parents or other relatives. The billboards will run through Sunday, which is Mother’s Day.

“For decades, the federal government distributed anti-marijuana propaganda to parents and encouraged them to share it with their children,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s time for younger folks to start sharing the facts about marijuana with their parents and other older relatives.

Arizona: Drive For Initiative To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Reaches 200K Signatures

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The campaign needs to collect 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify for the November ballot

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Tuesday announced it has collected more than 200,000 signatures in support of a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona. The campaign needs to collect 150,642 valid signatures of registered Arizona voters to qualify the initiative for the November ballot.

“Voters want to have their say on whether Arizona should end marijuana prohibition,” said Campaign Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s appearing more and more likely that they are going to have that opportunity. We’re finding that most Arizonans agree marijuana should be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana, establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol, and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Arizona: Marijuana Initiative Backers Issue Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge

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Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery: Prove Marijuana Is More Harmful Than Alcohol or Return the Campaign Contributions He Received From the Alcohol Industry Last Year

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Wednesday issued a challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is calling on Montgomery — who says marijuana is too dangerous to regulate for adult use — to either prove marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or return campaign contributions he received from members of the alcohol industry last year.

The CRMLA held a Wednesday news conference in front of the Maricopa County Administration Building, where the county attorney’s office is located. They provided Montgomery with a jumbo-sized refund check for $8,050 from his campaign committee, Montgomery 2016, to his “alcohol industry contributors.” Montgomery 2016 received at least $8,050 in contributions from members of the alcohol industry in 2015, according to campaign finance reports.

“Mr. Montgomery’s public statements about our initiative indicate that he feels like marijuana should remain illegal because of its potential harms,” said CRMLA chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Yet marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol by every objective measure, and he accepts campaign contributions from people who distribute alcohol.”

Arizona: Backers of Marijuana Initiative to Launch Phoenix Open-Inspired Billboard

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Billboard Highlights the Relative Safety of Marijuana Compared to Alcohol

The billboard will be up all week during the widely attended Coors-sponsored golf tournament known as the ‘greatest party on grass;’ it features two adult marijuana consumers relaxing in a field and asks, ‘If beer and golf make for the “greatest party on grass”… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?’

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Monday launched Phoenix Open-inspired billboard to coincide with the kickoff of tournament events. It will be up through the end of the tournament on Sunday.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) held a news conference in front of the billboard on the southwest corner of 7th Street and Lincoln.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the world’s best-attended golf tournament, according to the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which refers to the Coors-sponsored event as the “greatest party on grass.”

The billboard features two adult marijuana consumers relaxing in a field and reads, “If beer and golf make for the ‘greatest party on grass’… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?”

“We’re glad that Arizona residents have the opportunity to attend the Open, consume alcoholic beverages, and enjoy the ‘greatest party on grass,’” said CRMLA chairman J.P. Holyoak. “We also think it’s important to acknowledge that alcohol is a much more harmful substance than marijuana.

Arizona: Backers of Marijuana Initiative to Unveil Billboard Monday

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Phoenix Open-inspired Billboard to Be Unveiled on Monday to Coincide With Kickoff of the World’s Best-Attended Golf Tournament (Also Known as the ‘Greatest Party on Grass’)

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona will unveil a Phoenix Open-inspired billboard on Monday to coincide with the kickoff of tournament events. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EST in front of the billboard on the southwest corner of 7th St. and Lincoln.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the world’s best-attended golf tournament, according to the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which refers to it as the “greatest party on grass.” The billboard will run throughout the duration of the tournament, which ends Sunday, February 7.

WHAT: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol news conference to launch Phoenix Open-themed billboard coinciding with the kickoff of the world’s best-attended golf tournament

WHEN: Monday, February 1, 11 a.m. MST

WHERE: In front of the billboard on the southwest corner of 7th St. and Lincoln, Phoenix

WHO: J.P. Holyoak, campaign chairman
Campaign staff

# # #

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMarijuanaAZ.org.

Arizona: Marijuana Initiative Backers Encourage Business Leaders To Consider Economic Benefits

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Prior to an annual Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday, backers of a 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona will encourage business leaders to consider the economic benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana in the state.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. MST on January 6, outside the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Legislative Luncheon in Phoenix (northeast corner of N. 3rd and E. Van Buren streets).

Campaign leaders will have a sign and distribute handouts that invalidate opponents’ claims that regulating marijuana for adult use will be bad for business in Arizona.

“Regulating marijuana like alcohol would bolster our state’s economy with new tax revenue, new jobs, and new business opportunities,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Business leaders typically recognize the value of a legal and regulated alcohol market for adults. Our initiative would establish a similar system but for an objectively less harmful product.

“Since Colorado made marijuana legal for adults, its economy has improved dramatically and at a far greater rate than most other states,” Holyoak said. “Opponents of that law claimed it would be bad for business, and that claim has proven to be entirely unfounded.”

The following facts will be included in the handout distributed to attendees:

Arizona: Halloween Billboard Highlights Fact That Marijuana Is Less Harmful Than Alcohol

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Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Monday launched a Halloween-themed billboard that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

The orange and black ad, which satirizes “Reefer Madness”-style anti-marijuana propaganda, comes as opponents of the proposed initiative are ramping up efforts to scare voters into keeping marijuana illegal for adults. It features a screaming face and reads, “MARIJUANA: LESS toxic! LESS addictive! LESS scary than ALCOHOL!”

“Marijuana is illegal thanks to decades of anti-marijuana propaganda and fear mongering,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Once people find out it is actually safer than alcohol, they tend to agree it should not be a crime for adults to use it responsibly.

“Over the next 12 months, our opponents are going to do everything they can to scare Arizonans into keeping marijuana illegal,” Holyoak said. “We just want voters to remember that we’re talking about a substance that is proven to be less harmful than alcohol.”

Marijuana dependence is significantly less likely and less severe than than alcohol dependence, according to researchers at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attribute more than 2,000 U.S. deaths per year to alcohol poisoning, whereas there has never been a confirmed marijuana poisoning death in history.

Arizona: Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Reaches 75,000 Signatures

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Backers of an initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Arizona announced Thursday that their petition drive has surpassed the 75,000-signature mark and is one-third of the way to its goal of 230,000 total signatures.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol launched its petition drive in May and needs 150,642 valid signatures of registered Arizona voters to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

“We’re finding that more than one out of every two registered voters we ask to sign is happy to do it, so that’s a good sign,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “People recognize that marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a mess as alcohol prohibition was 80 years ago. It’s time for a more sensible approach.”

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

“Most voters seem to recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and that we’d be better off if we started treating it that way,” Holyoak said. “It makes little sense to criminalize adults for choosing to use a product that is safer than one you can currently buy in a grocery store. Regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol just makes sense.”

Arizona: Marijuana Tax Revenue Would Likely Exceed Initiative Backers' Estimate of $40 Million

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An independent Arizona-based research organization on Tuesday reported a proposed 2016 ballot measure to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol would likely raise more revenue for education in Arizona than initiative backers originally estimated.

According to the Grand Canyon Institute, a “centrist think-thank led by a bipartisan group of former state lawmakers, economists, community leaders, and academicians,” tax revenue from the initiative would initially generate $64 million annually, including $51 million for K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs. It estimates that by 2019, once the new system is fully rolled out, it would raise $72 million per year, including approximately $58 million for public education.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on August 19 announced that it had conservatively estimated that the initiative would raise more than $40 million in tax revenue for public education in Arizona. The estimate was called into question by opponents, and the Arizona Republic published an editorial in which it called the estimate a “lie” and accused the campaign of exaggerating the initiative’s revenue potential.

“The Grand Canyon Institute…finds that the revenue projections were conservative as proponents claimed,” the report reads. “The revenue gains do exceed the $40 million espoused by proponents of the initiative.”

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Could Raise $40 Million Annually For Education

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Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol estimate the measure would raise more than $40 million annually for education in Arizona. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol highlighted the potential revenue Wednesday by presenting the state with a jumbo-sized check during a “back-to-school” news conference in front of the state capitol.

“Our schools are in serious need of funding, and taxing marijuana would create a significant new revenue stream,” said State Sen. Martin Quezada, a member of the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board who spoke at the news conference. “Marijuana sales are going to keep taking place regardless of whether this initiative passes or fails. But only if it passes will they raise tens of millions of dollars each year for public education in Arizona.”

The proposed initiative would enact a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales from licensed retail stores to adults 21 years of age and older, which would be used to fund the implementation and enforcement of regulations. Of any additional tax revenue collected, 40 percent would be allocated to the Department of Education for school construction, maintenance, and operating costs, and 40 percent would be allocated to the Department of Education for full-day kindergarten programs.

Arizona: New Poll Shows Majority Support For Ending Marijuana Prohibition

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Behavior Research Center’s latest Rocky Mountain Poll finds 53% support making marijuana legal for adults; just 39% are opposed

An independent poll released on Wednesday shows a majority of Arizona residents support ending marijuana prohibition.

The Behavior Research Center’s latest Rocky Mountain Poll found 53 percent of Arizonans support making possession of a small amount of marijuana legal for personal use. Just 39 percent are opposed.

Support outpaced opposition in all three of the geographical areas that were surveyed: 53-38 in Maricopa County; 47-43 in Pima County; and 58-38 in Rural Arizona. The survey of 701 Arizonans was conducted from April 29-May 15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

“Arizonans are fed up with the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” said J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting a statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. “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 said.

The campaign has collected more than 15,000 signatures since launching its petition drive three weeks ago. It must gather more than 150,000 valid signatures of registered Arizona voters to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot.

Arizona: Ballot Initiative To Legalize, Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Filed

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A statewide ballot initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Arizona will be filed on Friday with the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State.

Representatives of a unified coalition of organizations, activists, and marijuana businesses that are supporting the measure will hold a media availability at 1 p.m. MST in front of the Executive Tower of the Arizona State Capitol, prior to submitting the initiative to the Elections Division on the 7th floor.

“It was a long and deliberative drafting process involving a diverse group of stakeholders,” said Carlos Alfaro, Arizona political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “There were some bumps in the road, but in the end everyone came together to produce the best possible law for Arizona.

"We are united in this effort to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol,” Alfaro said.

In summary, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would:

• Allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess and privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (it will remain illegal to consume marijuana in public);

• Create a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana to adults and establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana;

• Provide local governments with the authority to regulate and prohibit marijuana businesses; and

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