The fight over legalizing recreational pot in Arizona is heating up. A retired DEA agent with 18 years of experience tells ABC15 he believes it should be legalized, taxed and regulated.
“What we're talking about, is prohibition and ending prohibition,” said retired DEA agent Finn Selander.
Selander says he wants to see the money and taxes go back into the state. He believes the U.S. is responsible for creating big business for the drug cartels running marijuana.
“They're an army and it's strictly because it is still black market,” said Selander.
Even with the tax money Arizona could see, many groups like "Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy" say voters shouldn't fall for the idea.
“Watch out for easy money because that comes with significant health consequences that we all pay,” said Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk.
Polk says more kids could have access and a chance to get hooked on weed and other drugs.
“The best way to keep it out of the hands of kids is to keep it illegal,” Polk said.
When it comes to the initiative making the ballot, Selander expressed that he is very hopeful and believes it will.
Polk says she’s hopeful too. “I'm confident it will make the ballot,” said Polk. “But I am equally confident that we will defeat it.
The group pushing to put recreational pot on the 2016 ballot needs 150,000 valid signatures by the July 1 deadline.
They currently have 160,000 but know a large percentage may be invalid. They are working to reach 225,000 and expect to have that by March.