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Arizona: 70% say Pot Shouldn't Be a Crime

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Feb 18, 00
Arizona Republic (AZ)
Copyright: 2000 The Arizona Republic
70% SAY POT SHOULDN'T BE A CRIME Wide Support For Decriminalization As they did in 1996 and 1998, seven out of 10 Arizona voters favor greater decriminalization of marijuana, according to a new poll by the Behavior Research Center of Phoenix. A third initiative being pushed for the Nov. 7 ballot by a group called The People Have Spoken would: Create a state-controlled network for distributing marijuana to medical patients who can show a prescription approved by at least two doctors. Require a fine of no more than $500 and no jail time for possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana. Remove minimum sentences for non-violent marijuana offenders but require harsher sentences for serious drug offenders. Require that all property and money forfeited by criminals in drug cases be used for drug prevention and treatment programs. Behavior Research's independent poll taken Feb. 10-16 of 417 registered voters in Maricopa County said 60 percent still support the provisions of an initiative first approved in 1996, rescinded by the Legislature, and reinstated by voters in 1998, even after being told that the measure also legalized the medical use of other drugs like heroin, methamphetamines or cocaine. The poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, indicated that decriminalization was favored by Republicans, Democrats and independents