A citizens group has filed paperwork to legalize marijuana in Arizona by amending the state constitution via citizens' initiative.
A group calling itself Safer Arizona headed by Dennis Bohlke of Phoenix is proposing an amendment to the Arizona Constitution called "Article XXXI, Marijuana Regulation and Taxation."
The proposed amendment would legalize marijuana possession and use, in "limited amounts," for people 18 and older. It also would provide state licensing for cultivation, product manufacturing, testing and retailing.
Under the proposal, the state would be given authority to tax the wholesale sales of marijuana, with half the revenues going to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Local governmental entities would have the authority to ban facilities within their boundaries.
Colorado and the state of Washington voted to legalize marijuana last year, the first states to do so. The substance remains illegal under federal law.
Marijuana for medical use was legalized in Arizona through a voter initiative in 2010. State officials, led by Attorney General Tom Horne, fought its implementation, but dispensaries began opening late last year.
The Safer Arizona proposal is aimed at the November 2014 general election ballot. Supporters will have until July 3, 2014 to gather a minimum of 259,213 voter signatures on petitions.
It is one of five proposed initiatives for which paperwork has been filed with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. Four are proposed constitutional amendments, the fifth a change in state law.
See the complete list of proposals here.