Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries and grow facilities popping up everywhere.

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Arizona voters may get a chance to decide next year whether to legalize recreational marijuana, which could open up a host of new cannabis business opportunities if it succeeds.

Legalization advocates said they’ve filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State to put the question before voters in 2020.

They’ll need to collect at least 237,645 signatures from registered voters by July 2020 to qualify for the ballot.

Spokeswoman Stacy Pearson said advocates have learned from a failed effort in 2016, when a legalization initiative was defeated after getting only 49% of the vote.

That year, Arizona was the only political loss in what otherwise would have been a legalization tsunami, with California, Maine, Massachusetts legalization and Nevada all legalizing recreational, as well as Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota all approving medical marijuana legalization.

The 2020 initiative, supported by the Arizona Dispensaries Association, would allow adults 21 and older to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana and would also create more retail MJ licenses, The Phoenix New Times reported.

The campaign already has drawn opposition from some in the business community and local politicians who are wary of the industry’s expanding footprint, according to AZCentral.

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