AZ cannabis group seeks to undermine rec campaign

After the Arizona recreational marijuana campaign splintered last year over the particulars of what legalization should include, a number of grassroots cannabis activists are now targeting the primary adult-use campaign in Arizona, with an eye on defeating it so they can return with a different initiative in 2018.

The group Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, which couldn’t come up with enough signatures to get its own initiative on the November ballot this year, has instead decided to try and defeat the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supported by the Marijuana Policy Project, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Arizonans for Mindful Regulation is headed by Jason Medar, and his group doesn’t believe the MPP initiative goes far enough. For example, Medar’s initiative would have made possession of up to 8 ounces of cannabis a misdemeanor. Under MPP’s measure, possession of more than 2.5 ounces would be a felony.

Medar also said MPP’s measure is too protectionist for existing medical marijuana businesses, and that there aren’t enough business opportunities for entrepreneurs. By contrast, Medar’s initiative would have mandated that the state allow for as many cannabis shops as there are liquor stores: about 1,600.