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Timeline of Marijuana-Related Initiatives in Arizona
Year Description


Proposition 207 (the Smart and Safe Arizona Act) legalizes the adult recreational use of marijuana. It passed with 60% of the vote on November 3, 2020. Specifically, Prop 207 allows an adult in Arizona to possess up to 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana (with no more than 5 grams being marijuana concentrate) to have up to 6 marijuana plants at their home (with up to 12 marijuana plants in households with two or more adult members). Possession and cultivation of cannabis became legal on November 30, 2020, when the results of the election were certified.


The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Proposition 205, appeared on the November 8, 2016, ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. It failed with 48.7% of the vote. The initiative would have allowed an adult to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. 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.


Proposition 203the Arizona Medical Marijuana Actwas an initiative seeking to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Voters approved it with 50.1% of the ballots in favor. The initiative allows a patient with a doctor's recommendation to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for treatment of certain qualifying conditions. It limits the number of dispensaries to 124 and specifies that only patients who reside more than 25 miles from a dispensary may cultivate their own cannabis. Proposition 203 became effective on December 14, 2010.


In November 2002, Proposition 203, a medical cannabis initiative that also sought to decriminalize recreational use, failed with 42.7% of the vote. Included in the initiative were requirements to: (a) allow a patient to possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis and grow 2 plants; (b) establish a state-run system for the distribution of medical cannabis to patients; (c) decriminalize up to 2 ounces of cannabis for any use (punishable by a $250 fine); and (d) enact new sentencing reforms for non-violent drug offenses (expanding upon the 1996 reforms).


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 or recommend Schedule I drugs for certain debilitating or terminal illnesses and requiring probation rather than jail for nonviolent personal drug users.