Could Arizona voters get another chance to legalize recreational pot?

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 00:43:31-05

There's a chance voters could decide on recreational marijuana again here in Arizona — and that chance could come as early as November 2018.

On Thursday, Safer Arizona will start the process of obtaining signatures in order to get their measure on the ballot in time.

"Rockets coming over the borders and exploding all over you is pretty stressful," explained David Wisniewski, a former army sergeant who took part in combat missions in Iraq.

"Living your life in your own little hell for a while, you start to get tripped up," Wisniewski said.

But now, Wisniewski is onto a different battle.

"The pills made me into a zombie; put me into a fog," Wisniewski said. "They make you want to kill yourself."

Struggling with PTSD, Wisniewski knew he had to do something. When the medication didn't work, he turned to medical marijuana. He calls it a lifesaver, but he's not stopping there.

As the head of Safer Arizona, he's pushing for recreational marijuana to be legalized. The group is hoping to get a measure on the November 2018 ballot and start collecting signatures Thursday.

But not everyone agrees.

Remember those anti-Prop 205 ads? Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy came out swinging against Prop 205 in 2016, and once again Wednesday, told ABC15 they do not support legalizing marijuana. They released this statement:

"Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy strongly opposes the legalization of marijuana. It is bad public policy, bad for our youth and bad for our state. One need only look to our neighboring state of Colorado to see that legalization means far more youth using and far more impaired drivers on the roads. Arizona just voted down this harmful policy and our group is confident Arizonans will do so again."  — Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney Chair, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy

Wisniewski said he couldn't disagree more.

"You realize this plant is saving people's lives and you realize it's a felony and people are getting killed and are having their lives destroyed and rotting in prison over a non-toxic medicinal start to get pissed off and realize it's something worth screaming about," Wisniewski said.

If you'd like to see the full text of the new measure, click here.

ABC15 reached out to DPS, MCSO, and Phoenix police regarding the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana. None of the agencies were able to comment at this time.