Arizona Businesses, Advocates Unite Behind Single MJ Measure

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The formerly fractured Arizona marijuana community emerged as a united front on Friday, with representatives from three separate organizations backing a single ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.

Political differences on how the measure should be worded seemed to be coming to a head just a few weeks ago, when Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia threatened to harm the business of an Arizona dispensary executive after negotiations fell apart and she began working on a competing campaign.

But on Friday, it appeared that all had been forgiven.

“I’m really happy that we’ve been able to come together, because this is the best way forward, to now go ahead and get this passed,” said Gina Berman, medical director of The Giving Tree Wellness Center in Arizona, whose business Kampia threatened in late March.

Berman credited a number of stakeholders for encouraging all parties to sit back down at the negotiating table and work out a deal, and said she and Kampia had been able to put their differences behind them.

The end result is that MPP, leaders of the Arizona cannabis business community and Safer Arizona (a coalition of grassroots activists and MMJ patients) were able to finally find enough common ground that they all came together behind a single ballot measure for next year to legalize rec.

The coalition announced in a press release that the final language would be filed with the secretary of state’s office on Friday.