Legalization of Cannabis: You Have a Right to Choose What You Put in Your Own Body
The state of Arizona spends over $700,000 a day keeping 10,000 non-violent cannabis offenders behind bars -- nearly ten times per inmate than we spend per K-12 student. That is unacceptable, and as governor of Arizona, I will promptly legalize adult possession and consumption of cannabis -- and allow all nonviolent cannabis offenders to petition the court to have their records expunged.
A multi-billion dollar cannabis industry is fleeing Arizona to neighboring states where adult use is already legal, and it’s costing Arizona hundreds of thousands of jobs -- not to mention hundreds of millions in tax revenue to support things Arizonans actually want, like smaller class sizes for our kids.
If Arizona were to tax the sale of cannabis and release just a third of nonviolent drug offenders from prison, we would be able to raise teacher pay, for example, ten times what our current “education governor” managed to do. Perpetuating the Drug War is a waste of taxpayer and police resources -- and you have a fundamental right to choose what you put in your own body.
We hear often that people fear that legalizing marijuana will make it easier for children to obtain, but the reality is that drug dealers don’t ID. Legalizing the adult use of cannabis actually makes it harder for children to get because it practically puts drug dealers out of business.
Meanwhile, thousands of Arizonans die of opioid overdoses each year because there’s no legal alternative to the toxic and addictive substances they obtain on the black market. Cannabis is an exit drug for many addicts -- and as governor, I will always stand on the principle of rehabilitation over indefinite punishment. It is a far more effective means to a far more valuable end.
Arizona adults have a right to make their own decisions, as long as they’re not harming anyone else. But Republicans refuse to stop escalating the use of force and violence to take that right away -- and Democrats have paid little more than lip service to legalization. I am the only candidate for governor who is not ashamed to call for the full legalization of cannabis.