Effort starts to decriminalize pot for personal use

There’s a new effort to decriminalize marijuana. In November Arizona voters legalized marijuana for medical use. Now, there’s an effort in the City of Tucson to decriminalize it for personal use.

Stuart Green wants the City of Tucson to make possession of two and a half ounces of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia a petty offense with first time punishment of a $25 fine.

Right now it’s a felony.

Green, who is involved in the medical marijuana business, says, “We feel that this product is being regulated incorrectly due to the fact that it does less harm than alcohol and we know it does less harm than cigarettes.”

Green is circulating an initiative called Sensible Tucson. He is working to collect enough signatures to try to convince City Council to adopt it. If that doesn’t happen, he hopes to put it to a public vote in November.

Green says, “We feel that adults 18 years and older are able to make a decision about a plant. And it should not be something that should be hidden under the covers or make people go underground or go to illegal areas to be able to get.”

Tucson Police declined to comment on the initiative.

Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin says he has no stand on it. Rankin says, “As city employees we can’t take a public advocacy position either for or against a ballot measure.”

However Rankin does not believe the initiative is legal. He says state law, not city law, regulates marijuana.

Rankin says, “The penalties and the prohibitions on possession of marijuana and what the sanctions are is all in state law, Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. So you can’t amend state law through a city initiative.”

Green hopes to collect enough signatures by July to put his proposal to a test.

Eventually Green would like to see marijuana legalized everywhere and its sale regulated and taxed by the government.

via : KVOA

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