Many former law enforcement officials are rallying in support of Proposition 205, which aims to legalize recreational pot in the Grand Canyon State.
Two former Drug Enforcement Administration special agents hit up Arizona State University on Wednesday, the first day of early voting to encourage students to vote in favor of the initiative.
Both men — who had fought on the front lines of the war on drugs — strongly support regulating the sale of marijuana similarly to alcohol.
For retired special agent Finn Selander, it was a learning process.
"At one point in my career I realized that what we were doing was wasting more money and funds," Selander said. "We were criminalizing a whole generation...for literally possession."
Michael Capasso, a former supervisory special agent with the DEA felt marijuana was not negatively impacting society.
"I'm supporting Prop. 205 because it will make our community safer," Capasso said. "Law enforcement has more important things to do than arrest adults for simple marijuana possession."
Not all law enforcement groups in the state feel the same way, however.
“The No on Prop 205 c 205 campaign has received endorsements in opposition to Prop 205 from the AZ State Troopers, The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, the Arizona Police Association, Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, and many more high profile law enforcement groups,” said Adam Deguire, a spokesman for those against the measure.
In Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for about three years, business has been booming. It's become a billion-dollar industry, but there's a downside to it as well.
The Colorado Department of Public safety reveals marijuana-related traffic deaths have increased by 44 percent. Surveys also show that pot use by minors has increased by 20 percent.
Millions of dollars in tax revenue raised from marijuana sales had been pumped into schools in Colorado for new construction.
Arizona's Prop 205 also promised to pump money into education.
According to the Secretary of State's website, here is the official definition of Prop 205:
"A 'yes' vote shall have the effect of permitting individuals 21 years and older to privately use, possess, manufacture, give away, or transport up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 marijuana plants at the individual’s residence; generally declaring violations of the Act (including public use) a petty offense punishable by no more than a $300 fine; creating the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, which includes a 7-member Marijuana Commission appointed by the Governor, to regulate and license entities involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and testing marijuana products; granting local jurisdictions limited authority to enact ordinances and rules to regulate marijuana and marijuana products; establishing licensing fees for marijuana establishments and levying a 15% tax on all marijuana and marijuana products; and declaring all marijuana establishment contracts enforceable notwithstanding any conflict with federal law.
A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining existing law, which prohibits individuals from using, possessing, growing or purchasing marijuana unless the individual is authorized by and doing so in compliance with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act."
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