Lawmaker to introduce new marijuana use and taxation regulations - KMSP-TV

Arizona lawmaker to introduce new marijuana use and taxation regulations

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PHOENIX -

An Arizona lawmaker is working on legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Under Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego's bill, people 21 and older could possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to five marijuana plants.

"This is for recreational use.  If somebody is of a sane state of mind, they're above the age of 21 and if their employer doesn't care, whatever -- they can go and in the comfort of the privacy of their home, they can smoke marijuana.. they cannot smoke marijuana outside," said Gallego.

Marijuana could not be smoked in public, except for certain businesses like marijuana shops.

"The issue of marijuana regulation is pragmatic," Gallego stated. "Regulating marijuana takes sales off the street and puts them in a controlled environment. Ultimately, this will help law enforcement, especially in times when resources are limited. About 750,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 2012, and the majority of those arrests were simply for possession. Law enforcement officers' time and resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes, so that we are all safer. Additionally, we can use some of the money generated from the sales to pay for public education and treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse."

The drug would be taxed with half the money going into the general fund and the other half earmarked for education and alcohol and drug treatment programs.

We want to know what you think about legalizing marijuana in Arizona.  You can leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.com/myfoxphoenix.

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