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3/17/2014 6:00:00 AM
Promoters promise high revenue from marijuana
Two marijuana measures on the table in Arizona
Illustration by Michal
Illustration by Michal "Sparky" Knowlton/Daily Miner
Where pot taxes would go
HB 2558 would:

• Dedicate 30 percent to the Department of Education

• Dedicate 10 percent to the Department of Health Services for voluntary treatment for alcohol, tobacco and marijuana abuse and another 10 percent to the department for a public education campaign to teach juveniles and adults about the risk of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use.

• The remaining 50 percent would go into the state general fund. While advocates hope to land the initiatives on this year's ballot, two other states might have a better chance for passage this year.

A push to legalize the drug in strongly libertarian Alaska looks promising for advocates, and a push to do the same in liberal Oregon has picked up momentum.

Piccinino and CannabiNation AZ will host a "rally the vote" event in Kingman on April 19.

Show me the money

If HB 2558 becomes law and marijuana is legally sold and taxed in Arizona, the state could collect even more in excise taxes than Colorado has since legal marijuana sales began in that state in January. This suggestion is based solely on a population comparison using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2013.

Arizona 6,626,624

Colorado 5,268,367

Difference 1,358,257

Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper recently said revenue from legal marijuana sales would reach $134 million next fiscal year. The state collected about $3.5 million in the sale of both medical and recreational marijuana in January, with $2.1 million coming from recreational sales.

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Backers of two marijuana initiatives - one that would reduce the penalty for possession of the weed from a felony to a civil fine and another that would fully legalize recreational use for Arizonans 21 years or older - are in the process of gathering the necessary signatures needed to place them on November's ballot.

Susan Piccinino, president of CannibiNation AZ, is the point person in Kingman. CannibiNation AZ is an affiliate of Safer Arizona, a Tucson-based marijuana advocacy group that is trying to gather roughly 259,000 signatures by the July 3 deadline to have either measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Piccinino, 60, favors "total legalization," but she said the state's economy would benefit if either measure passes.

A pair of Phoenix lawmakers introduced the proposed legislation last month.

Rep. Mark Cardenas' HB 2474 would significantly reduce penalties for marijuana possession.

Cardenas, a Democrat, proposes a civil fine of $100 for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana by someone without a valid medical marijuana card is a class 6 felony.

A person in possession of between one ounce and two pounds of marijuana that is not for sale would be guilty of a petty offense.

Possession of larger amounts of marijuana, whether for sale or not, would remain a felony, but at a less serious classification.

The legislation has relatively harsh penalties for juveniles who are convicted of possessing any amount of marijuana, with the penalties focused more on treatment than punishment.

Many Arizona prisoners currently serving time for marijuana possession would become eligible for parole if they meet certain prerequisites.

"We would save money on law enforcement and prisons, create new jobs and dramatically reduce the criminal elements that produce pot today and (smuggle) it into America," said Piccinino.

"Marijuana prohibition is unjust, inhumane, and a waste of police, legal and taxpayer resources. It is the essence of unwarranted big government intrusion into our private lives."

Legalization, she said, would do even more good.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, introduced HB 2558, which if approved by voters would legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Gallegos has said marijuana prohibition has ruined lives and that the time has come to take the law off the books.

But the bottom line could be the bottom line.

Colorado recently announced it collected roughly $2 million in legal pot taxes in January; the first month marijuana became legal for recreational use in that state.

If Arizona voters approve the measure, Gallego's legislation includes a $50 excise tax per ounce of marijuana that a grower sells to a retailer.

There are provisions in place that would allow lawmakers to increase or decrease the excise tax, depending on the state of the economy.

Piccinino said a Rally the Vote event will take place April 19 at the Historic Route 66 Swap Meet at Route 66 and Thompson Avenue.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: John Heckory Heckory

Anson's Nephew
Thank you for responding.

In regards to me having problems, yes I do. I do not want to see all that hippity hoppity here or anywhere else for that matter. That's why there clothes because I don't want to see females looking sexy or showing their ankles. This idea of God this God that, play apart of letting people get "high". It is a smoke screen for the real issues. Issues such as this Merica, and now we are doomed because of this "natural" plant, this "God" created everything including this. We outlawed it because it was a threat to our fiber industries. Because minorities were using it and they caused all short of crimes while on it. We need money to fight this war and gain back our Merica. So what if it was outlawed due to discrimination and interest in profit. We want money and well get it no matter what (lets raise taxes). Such fine Merica Citizens such as Carmen and Smith and all those who support keeping it illegal know the truth. I refuse to believe the world is round, we know it is flat. Bibles were not written by us Mericans so it is invalid to claim God is on this "natural" side. God bless Harry Jacob Anslinger for he truly is Merica.

I look forward to future debate on this Anson's Nephew, as I respect your view and it is your right.

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Anson's Nephew…Society is becoming a sewage waste.”

Yeah, I remember my grandmother saying the same kind of nonsense back in the 1940s and again in the 1950s and then my mom took up the same stupid mantra in the 1960s and 1970s. And guess what – they were wrong.

“A video showing college girls in bikinis in a pool and jumping on a trampoline is clearly wrong…”

Really? You honestly believe that? Kinda sad.

“In regards to this ‘natural’ plant its evil.”

So God made an evil plant? Wow, and I thought God was infallible.

“Not the videos of skanky girls showing boobs and rear ends…Not the ads for beer and sexy girls who drink it.”

You REALLY have a problem you do know that, right?

“As I said if God wanted us to have it he would have had it in us not outside of our bodies.”

You mean like booze and tobacco or candy and beef or potatoes and lettuce or … well, you get the point. I have to say, John, yours is one of the stillest posts seen here in.. well a couple of hours.

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: An educated and respected citizen of Kingman

There are at least 129 distinct diseases that are cured, controlled and/or regulated by Marijuana. We have a God-given right to pursue good health....why should we have to catch a disease first, before being able to use Marijuana? It's a natural healing synthetic processing is required - it's all natural! Marijuana does NOT burn-out brain cells, it does NOT drive you crazy. A study of Guam teenagers who used marijuana from 13 to 17 years of age, has shown that these same "stoners" are now productive members of their society and actually have better paying jobs than non-marijuana users. Marijuana actually CURES CANCER by stopping tumor growth. And these are proven facts per years and years of research. How can you say that this natural herb, this natural plant, is evil?
Research the facts, educate yourselves. If you don't want to use it, then don't....but don't tell me I can't protect my health!! Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed.

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: An educated and respected citizen of Kingman

Our bodies DO naturally produce THC (the psychoactive ingredient in Marijuana) to allow us to forget unnecessary info & memories that would otherwise over-load our neurological systems. Marijuana doesn't alleviate pain, it allows us to forget our pain - and our problems, along with a little bonus of "feeling good". Our bodies NEED to be "de-stressed" - to feel good - in order to function properly and stay healthy. Marijuana users are actually safer drivers - relieved of pain, a driver can more safely concentrate on driving. The "high" feeling dissaptes within a few hours of smoking or eating marijuana. You'd be shocked and surprised and how many people you associate with each and every day who are regular marijuana users, who are respected, trusted, honest tax-payers and businessmen & women and fellow church-goers. Those evil "druggies" who fight, steal and kill are using other drugs....Marijuana users are usually peaceful citizens...and skinnier - despite the munchies, marijuana controls blood sugar naturally, so it actually regulates weight! Cannabis Cures - for our well-being and for this planet's well-being, medically, financially, economically - Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed.

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: John Heckory

Anson's Nephew
it is clear research to support ones claim is not needed because we all know this to be true. Society is becoming a sewage waste. Just as at a college out in California is a perfect example. A video showing college girls in bikinis in a pool and jumping on a trampoline is clearly wrong and those who say we are not degrading them is wrong. They should be covered from head to toe. In regards to this "natural" plant its evil. Mexicans brought it over and cause so much crime with this and took our jobs. This is why its evil and those who smoke it are only bring down our morals. Not the videos of skanky girls showing boobs and rear ends. Not the fashion styles where everything can be seen. Not the judgment we pass onto others because their view is different. Not the ads for beer and sexy girls who drink it. It is because of this plant that helps bring in funds to imprison criminals like those who brought it over is needed. I for one am more than happy to raise tax payer money in order to fund the war against these criminals who consume it. Lets face the truth here we need to address the real issue here. As I said if God wanted us to have it he would have had it in us not outside of our bodies.

ALIENS...... Aliens, people Aliens.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“The horrendous tax on cigarettes was suppose to bring in tons of revenue to the state, Where the hell are all those funds??”

Cursing, again. I must admit to being amazed at how the supposed good “Christian” ladies curse here.

”Our culture is turning to moral sewage and the younger children today are being exposed to MORE FILTH than ever!!”

You mean like cursing in a public forum?

“Colorado is having multiple problems since legalizing POT---young children taken to hospitals almost dying from it because it is not being hidden away from them!!”

Hmm, I have not seen a single one of those stories. Please let us know where they can be found – and BTW, no FAUX News, WND or other righty trash site. Thank you.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

God wants all to prosper and His blessings upon this nation have been mighty but, when you continually take/ask Him to bow out of your life, He Will Leave.
Money is a good thing but, when it is abused and you put money above what is good and right, it becomes evil and satan has his foothold over you!

The hypocritical stance taken between regular tobacco vs marijuana is unbelievable!!

For the "law enforcement " officer who never saw anyone DUI on drugs, the response to that comment was right on.
Having worked in MCSO Jail, I witnessed plenty of prisoners brought in under the influence of drugs and it is a pathetic sight to behold, especially when they have to be four pointed or put in an isolation cell in medical and all are exposed to the horrible screams of pain as they are coming off that crap!
It is medically known fact that POT burns the brain cells that never regenerate again.

The horrendous tax on cigarettes was suppose to bring in tons of revenue to the state, Where the hell are all those funds??

Our culture is turning to moral sewage and the younger children today are being exposed to MORE FILTH than ever!!
Colorado is having multiple problems since legalizing POT---young children taken to hospitals almost dying from it because it is not being hidden away from them!!

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

RE: "If god wanted us to have it he would put in in our bodies."

Really? Okay then. Stop eating, drinking, and breathing, because none of these are put in your body by god or anything else. Food, water and air come from outside the body.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

Strong's Concordance, for those of you who do not know that the real Bible was written over a period of about 1400 years by a variety of authors, whose letters and books were selected at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. to settle deep controversies within the church. It has been the considered view of mainstream Christianity that God's supernatural hand guided them to properly select what constitutes the Bible today. The concordance reflects that the Old testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, and it breaks down each word to its root form, and its meaning(s).

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: KO TAY

Drunks run stop signs, Pot smokers wait for stop signs to turn green. That is the difference.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Jim Weed

Look closely at my comment and you will see I said "my Bible" . I said nothing about your bible, or Kingman ite's for that matter.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Lake Mead City

@pl..... ".......portions of the bible.......originally written in the GREEK language....." No, I am pretty sure I learned in bible study, the first bible was written in Hebrew by Moses....and did not mention pot.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman ite

@ Jim Weed

There are many ref in the Bible. Look up Kanna

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

@Jim may wish to research portions of the Bible like Revelation chapter 21 verse 8 in the Greek language in which it was originally written. What is translated into English as the use of magic arts is actually the Greek word "Pharmakeia" from which we get our word Pharmacy, and the meaning was commonly understood at that time to include the production and use of drugs, including some mind-altering drugs of the time. I am not going to state here that this included marijuana in the ancient Greek culture, but it is something to keep in mind, since that verse is listing the practises of people who will be denied entry to heaven. This said, when some drugs are necessary for very real medical relief, it probably calls for some good judgement on the part of each person.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: John Heckory

I agree with Carmen V. If god wanted us to have it he would put in in our bodies. The same as if he wanted us to eat he would have put food in our bodies to produce naturally,. SO all this talk that bla bla bla its natural is wrong. so yes stop making excuses and fight the evilness. Do we need to remake Refer Madness we all know that to be true you simply chose to claim its natural just because it has been around a lot longer than you and your "natural GOD given" claim. Rmember if God wanted us to have it we would, just as plants and animals would have been put in our bodies naturally not separate. Wake up and address the real issues.

ALIENS...... Aliens, people Aliens.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: Jim Weed

As promised in my previous comment I'm back. I did a thorough search of my Bible and could not find any thing in it opposed to Marijuana. I make no important decisions without first consulting my Bible and the word of God, so I guess if it's alright with Him then it's got to be alright with me. So I say go for it.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: Maxwell Gibbons

I took Intro to Criminal Justice as a Dual Credit in High School two years ago. I choose "Medical" Marijuana for my 15 page final report 2 years ago. I educated myself a lot to write my report and have witnessed the field by my family members that run a Marijuana shop.

Here is one of the sites I used to do my research.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Nancy Jane

If you do not like marijuana do not smoke it. I do not care for RX meds, alcohol or tobacco therefore I do not partake in these substances. Increasingly large numbers of our youth have access to RX meds and alcohol in their home's and the home's of their friends. Why? When young people act out rather than spend quality time listening and understanding their situation a RX med is prescribed to take the place of love and patience. Why? Please open your eyes!! Marijuana users are not the problem.
Thank YOU Roy Leggett for your CANDID HONESTY!!! The world needs more ADULTS LIKE YOU!

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Steve McCall

@ just wondering
Yes, a person can be charged with DUI even with a medical marijuana card. This is true with any medication that can alter one's thinking or reaction time.
It is a lot more tricky with employers. If the employee is not capable of doing their job or puts others at risk, just like with any other employee, that should be grounds for discipline/firing.
Legalizing marijuana for the sake of revenue is stupid. If money is what is needed just do away with all laws and place a tax on all the criminal activity.. Then you can do away with jails and prisons, what a savings! Then you could do away with law enforcement and judges and courts. Wow we just solved the national debt!

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: m b

Decriminalize homicide, rape and burglary, and then tax it! What a fantastic revenue stream it would all be....

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: R .

"In all the years I spent in law inforcement I never saw an auto accident caused by marijuana -- and never saw a person so high they could not function normally."

Then either you were not an effective law "inforcer" and you were in a bubble or you patrolled in a wealthy retirement community. To suggest that being high on pot wouldn't cause an accident is illogical and irresponsible. And if you've never seen somebody so high that they couldn't function normally, then I can only imagine that all your years in law "inforcement" were spent behind a desk and not on the streets. Utterly ridiculous.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

I realize I have a rather simplistic outlook on a lot of things and I attribute that to being an old (really old) guy and having listened to the ravings of dyed-in-the-wool nut cases for way too many years.

When it comes to marijuana – don’t like it, don’t use it. How difficult is that?

I have never smoked in my life nor have I ever taken a drink of booze. No religious claptrap as a reason – again utter simplicity. My folks smoked like crazy and I could not stand the smell. They were also drunks and early on I decided to not go down that road.

I don’t agree with the availability of booze, but it is not my call to ban it. I just don’t use it I never go in bars and I don’t associate with drunks. As I said, simple enough. However, I do know people who use marijuana as medicine and I see how it helps with pain – so why all of the fuss. Making “pot” legal is not going to be the end of the world. My suggestion – don’t like it, don’t use it – and mind your own business.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: carmen v vasquez

oh please!!! all these people who are saying god made Marijuana so its ok to toke. If he wanted you to have it, he would have put it in your body naturally. Stop making excuses. its time to grow up. legalizing pot or anything else just so the government can get rich and the poor stay poor isn't a good idea. wake America and lets look at and address some real issues.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: don't legalise opium .....

oh, wait, it's already legalised in the form of prescription pain medication which nearly all of us have used at one time or another, if only following dental operations. So I would keep that in mind if it's true that marijuana has cancer-fighting properties and other beneficial health effects in some cases, where other, better alternatives are not available.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: michaele Lee

I'm am a person who follows Gods law. I do not believe this is wrong as long at it is used in a medicinal way. The bible says to give wine to the perishing so they will forget but it also says not to be drunken. Anything can be bad if used in the wrong way. With all the evidence of curing cancer and other disease and the pain relieving effects I think it should be legal. If it becomes legal tomorrow I would not start smoking. Those who will already do. People need to educate themselves. Its all but impossible to die from an overdose. It does not incite violence. I know people who smoke and they are hard working loving people who contribute to society. It might be at odds with my obedience to God but I support legalization. If I had cancer or a loved one had cancer I would want to be able to use as much of this as I like without jumping through hoops. Its pretty miraculous what this plant can do. It is something God created and as long as we are mindful of Him and do not abuse or worship this plant I think it is beneficial.

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