In an effort to win broader voter backing ahead of the November presidential election, supporters of legalizing marijuana are presenting their case to the American people through an economic lens.
Advocates argue new legal sales and excise taxes would help states weather economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic — a marked shift from previous messaging that focused on social and racial justice.
Residents of five states are set to assess seven associated ballot measures, and proponents of legalization are touting cannabis as a new source of revenue for state governments, hoping to win over holdouts.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., is a supporter of the popular Proposition 207 ballot measure — or the Smart and Safe Arizona Act — which would allow adults 21 and older to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana, approve sales at 130 medical marijuana dispensaries, and allow those previously convicted of crimes that would no longer be illegal under the act to have their records wiped clean.
According to The Arizona Republic, Prop. 207 would also place a 16% excise tax on sales and provide 26 retail licenses to “those historically disadvantaged by marijuana laws.”