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A Guide to Drug-Related State Ballot Initiatives


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Summary
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Arizona Proposition 201
The Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 200

Sponsors The People Have Spoken
Plants Are Medicine

Opponents

Keep Our Kids Off Drugs
 

Background Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, The Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act of 1996. This Act legalized all Schedule I drugs as medicine, mandated that judges send convicted nonviolent drug offenders to treatment, prohibited judges from sending offenders to jail until their third conviction, and established a parents council and a drug treatment and prevention fund. The Arizona Legislature subsequently repealed some of the provisions in the Act. Supporters retaliated with Proposition 300, The People Have Spoken, in 1998 which overturned the Legislatureís actions and with the Voter Protection Act which requires a 3/4 vote by the Legislature to overturn any initiative. Both passed. Proposition 201 reinstates all provisions of Propositions 200 and 300 and, further, decriminalizes marijuana for all use.

Analysis Decriminalizes marijuana.  Possession of up to two ounces subject to a maximum fine of $500, no jail.

Exempts anyone with a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana use from being prosecuted for violating any drug law.

Legalizes all Schedule I drugs as medicine.

Instructs State Attorney General to establish a registry of patients and supply marijuana to them.

Prohibits judges from sending nonviolent drug offenders to jail until their third conviction.

Diverts 75 percent of asset forfeitures from law enforcement to the Drug Treatment and Preventions Fund, 25 percent to drug and gang prevention.

Repeals mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and increases maximum penalties by 20 percent.

Mandates parole for all nonviolent drug offenders, those convicted but not yet serving time as well as those currently in jail.

Invalidates federal Food and Drug Administration regulations that govern approval of new medications as safe and effective, federal drug-control laws, and international drug-control treaties.  However, federal law and international treaties prevail over state law.

Funders
George Soros (NY)
Peter Lewis (OH)
John Sperling (AZ)
$200,000
$200,000
$200,000
Arizona Republic 4/22/2000

What Proponents Say
This proposition will result in greater cost savings, safer communities, and more prison space for violent offenders. It will also "correct any further circumvention" of the 1996 proposition "by the courts, county attorneys, and federal government."

What Opponents Say
Judges ask why have probation that canít be revoked? They say Proposition 201 removes the thing that makes treatment effective. People are not likely to recover unless there are consequences.

The attorney general objects to the provision that mandates her to distribute marijuana to patients, saying "This is a prosecution office, not a pharmacy." (Arizona Republic 4/22/00)

Status

Did Not Qualify for Ballot.

On June 2, 2000, The People Have Spoken abandoned Proposition 201 and turned it over to Plants Are Medicine, admitting that certain provisions would prevent prosecution of marijuana trafficking.

Plants Are Medicine failed to collect enough valid signatures.

Ranking

Compared to other states, Arizona ranks:
15th (tied with 2 other states) in past-month drug use
16th in marijuana use
  6th (tied with 5 other states) in drug use other than marijuana
  7th (tied with 3 other states) in past-year drug dependence
  7th (tied with 2 other states) in drug or alcohol dependence
(1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)

Details, Use
Details, Dependence


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