Arizona approves legalization of recreational marijuana

Arizona approves legalization of recreational marijuana
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Arizona voters approved Proposition 207 which legalizes the use of recreational marijuana in the state.

The Associated Press projected shortly after 11 p.m. EST that the measure will pass in the Grand Canyon State.

Proposition 207 will decriminalize the possession and recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older, making Arizona the 13th state to legalize marijuana use for adults and the second to do so through ballot measure. 

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Under the initiative, Arizonans will be permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants and possess as much as an ounce of marijuana. The measure will also allow those previously convicted of marijuana crimes to request their records to be expunged, the Arizona Republic reported.

Arizona approved the measure after considering a similar measure, Proposition 205 in 2016, which only won in two of the state’s 15 counties. The 2016 measure to legalize recreational marijuana lost in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county.

The Marijuana Policy Project celebrated the results, with Executive Director Steve Hawkins saying, “Arizona voters have spoken.”

“We are poised for major marijuana reform federally,” he said in a statement. “Regardless of who controls the White House, the House, or the Senate, Americans are ready for legal marijuana.” 

The 2020 initiative was originally challenged by the Arizonans for Health and Public Safety Political Action Committee, but the Arizona Supreme Court rejected their objection in August. 

New Jersey also voted to legalize recreational marijuana use for residents 21 and older, becoming the first to legalize marijuana as a ballot measure.

Montana and South Dakota also voted on initiatives for recreational marijuana.