AZ: Campaign 2018 – Marijuana, Dark Money Look To Make Ballot

Photo Credit: Ed Andrieski

Vying for attention with crowded state and local candidate ballots this November will be several ballot measures not related to education.


Five different marijuana and hemp-related measures are vying to get on the Arizona ballot in 2018, all of which would roll back current regulations on the cannabis plant.

The Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act would legalize the possession, consumption, cultivation and sales of cannabis for adults 21 and up, decriminalize cannabis offenses and replace them with fines and misdemeanors, establish a sales tax on retail cannabis sales with revenues allocated to education and prevent the state from “conspiring with other governments to enforce cannabis prohibition laws.”

Another pair of initiatives call for the “100% complete legalization of all drugs” and the “100% complete legalization of marijuana.”

The Marijuana Dispensary Act includes provisions to establish a $10 fee for a medical marijuana card, add more medical conditions that would allow a person to get a medical marijuana card and make it possible for out-of-state cardholders to obtain medical marijuana from a licensed Arizona dispensary.

Lastly, the Hemp Freedom Act seeks to make it legal to plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell or buy industrial hemp in Arizona.

Dark money

The Stop Political Dirty Money Constitutional Amendment, chaired by former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, requires increased financial disclosures by people making major campaign expenditures in the state’s elections. The proposal states that any person who makes more than $10,000 in campaign expenditures during a two-year election cycle must disclose the original source of any major contributions that went toward that expenditure. A “major contribution” is defined as any chunk of money more than $2,500. The amendment states that it would “stop the practice of laundering political contributions through multiple intermediaries to hide the original source.” Rules to implement the amendment would be written and enforced by a non¬partisan commission.