Arizona’s Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego has announced that he will soon introduce legislation to explicitly legalize cannabis for those 21 and older.Under his proposed law, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to 5 plants, would no longer be illegal, and state-licensed retail outlets would be authorized. According to recent polling, this move is supported by 56% of those in the state.
“The issue of marijuana regulation is pragmatic,” says Gallego. “Regulating marijuana takes sales off the street and puts them in a controlled environment. Ultimately, this will help law enforcement, especially in times when resources are limited.”
He continues; “About 750,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 2012, and the majority of those arrests were simply for possession. Law enforcement officers’ time and resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes, so that we are all safer. Additionally, we can use some of the money generated from the sales to pay for public education and treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse.”