Federal Law

Arizona Law : Prohibition: ARS 13-3405 Medical Marijuana Act Prop 203

Voter Protection Act

Arizona Proposition 105, also known as the Voter Protection Act, was on the November 3, 1998 election ballot in Arizona as an initiated constitutional amendment. It was approved.

Proposition 105 sought to Amend the Constitution Relating to Initiative and Referendum.[1] The measure was intended to prevent the legislature or governor from altering or repealing laws created by the voters through the citizen initiative. (SOURCE BALLOT PEDIA)

Historical Marijuana Efforts

Proposition 200 (1996)

In 1996, 65% of Arizona voters approved Proposition 200 (the “Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act”), a drug policy reform initiative that contained a provision allowing physicians to prescribe cannabis.[1] The medical use provision was then essentially repealed by state legislators a few months later,[2] but the change was rejected by voters in a 1998 veto referendum (Proposition 300).[3] Ultimately the medical use provision was ineffective, however, due to language that created significant conflict with federal law (use of the word “prescribe” instead of “recommend”).[4] (SOURCE Cannabis In Arizona Wikipedia)

Proposition 203 (2010)

Proposition 203 (in 2010), an initiative seeking to legalize the medical use of cannabis, was approved with 50.1% of the vote.[11] The initiative allowed patients with a doctor’s recommendation to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for treatment of certain qualifying conditions.[12][13] It limited the number of dispensaries to 124 and specified that only patients who reside more than 25 miles from a dispensary could cultivate their own cannabis.[12][14] Proposition 203 was approved despite opposition from Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Terry Goddard, all of the state’s sheriffs and county prosecutors, and many other state politicians.[14][15]

In May 2011, Gov. Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne filed a lawsuit in federal court questioning some of the initiative’s provisions.[16] The lawsuit sought a ruling on whether state employees involved in implementing certain provisions were subject to federal prosecution.[17][18] Citing this uncertainty, the state also announced that it would suspend the issuance of licenses for medical cannabis dispensaries.[19] The lawsuit was dismissed in January 2012, however,[20] and Gov. Brewer subsequently lifted the moratorium.[21][22]

In May 2012, Gov. Brewer signed legislation that made illegal the possession of medical cannabis on college campuses.[23] The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that the law was unconstitutional, however.[24] (SOURCE Cannabis In Arizona Wikipedia)


An Arizona Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Amendment did not appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Arizona as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure, which was being sponsored by the group, “Safer Arizona,” would have asked voters if the state constitution should be amended to allow citizens 18 years of age and older to grow, smoke and possess marijuana for purposes other than medical use. As the result of a 2010 ballot question, medical marijuana was legal in the state as of the proposal of this measure.[1][2][3] (SOURCE BALLOTPEDIA)

Proposition 205 (2016)

Proposition 205 (in 2016), an initiative to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, failed with 48.7% of the vote.[25] The initiative would have allowed adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for personal use.[26] It also required the establishment of a system for the commercial distribution and taxation of cannabis, with excess tax revenues (after paying for the program’s expenses) dedicated to funding public schools and substance abuse programs.[26]

The campaign to defeat Proposition 205 raised more than $6 million,[27] aided significantly by the fundraising efforts of Gov. Doug Ducey.[28] Among the largest contributors to the opposition campaign were Discount Tire ($1,000,000), Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry ($918,000), Sheldon Adelson ($500,000), and Insys Therapeutics ($500,000).[29] The top contributors in support of the initiative were Marijuana Policy Project ($1,715,000), Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps ($550,000), and Drug Policy Alliance ($350,000).[25] (SOURCE Cannabis In Arizona Wikipedia)


The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative was not on the ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute on November 6, 2018.

The measure would have legalized the possession, use, and consumption of marijuana for persons age 21 and older. The measure would have also allowed for the cultivation of up to 48 plants with more than a 0.3 percent THC level. The initiative would have prohibited local jurisdictions from passing laws designed to prohibit the operation of marijuana-related businesses.[1] (SOURCE BALLOTPEDIA)


Arizona Marijuana Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation Initiative (2020)

The Arizona Marijuana Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation Initiative (#I-23-2020) may appear on the ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute on November 3, 2020.

This initiative is referred to by proponents and in the proposed legal text as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act.

This initiative would legalize the possession, consumption, cultivation, and sale of marijuana to persons 21 or older. It would tax marijuana sales at a rate of 16% of the sale price, with a provision that—in the event of a federal tax on marijuana—the combined total state and federal tax could not exceed a rate of 30%. It would restrict where marijuana could be consumed, prohibit the operation of a vehicle under the influence of marijuana, and allow employers to restrict the marijuana use of employees.[1] (SOURCE BALLOTPEDIA)

Beyond 2020