High Hopes: Recreational pot advocates target Arizona - New York News

High Hopes: Recreational pot advocates target Arizona

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

The sale of pot for recreational use has been a big hit so far in the state of Colorado -- in less than a week , most stores selling marijuana say they're just about sold out. 

Could we see a similar law on the Arizona ballot in the next few years?

People were lining up in the snow in Denver, all in order to buy legal recreational marijuana.  On the first day of sales, people bought more than $1 million dollars worth of marijuana and it could be a scene we see in Arizona -- in just a few years.

"The problem with marijuana is not the actual marijuana, it's the black market that marijuana creates," said Democrat State Rep. Ruben Gallego.

Gallego is working with lawmakers at the State Capitol to draft a bill legalizing recreation marijuana and says if it doesn't pass, voters will likely approve it in ballot initiative in 2016.

"The people I think, are again as usual, they're ahead of the legislature. They have more political forethought than we do as elected officials," he said.

Gallego says the tax from the sale of recreational marijuana would be a big revenue stream for the state, but he also says it would make Arizona safer -- by taking the sale of pot out of the control of cartels.

"The whole goal of this is basically to destroy the black market of marijuana -- and in the process, if we can make a little money for the state, obviously that's great."

He says the success so far of the new law in Colorado shows what can happen if marijuana is properly regulated.

"Every person that's in line to buy recreationally in a regulated manner is a person that's not buying it from a local dealer."

The earliest this could go on the ballot would be the midterm elections in November, which doesn't leave supporters of recreational marijuana much time to collect the 300,000 signatures they would need.

So the 2016 ballot initiative is the most likely of the two.

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