Following Arizona's recent legalization of cannabis on November 3rd, an Arizonan prosecutor will be dropping all recreational-use marijuana-related charges.
After a long-fought battle in Arizona to legalize recreational-use marijuana, the Grand Canyon state finally succeeded in its efforts, joining a host of other states that legalized cannabis on November 3rd.
Prior to just a week ago, recreational cannabis in Arizona had been illegal since 1931, and the punishment for its possession ranged between a potential fine of $150,000, a felony charge, and up to two years in prison.
The state attempted to legalize cannabis in November 2016 via proposition 205, which sought to legalize adult-use for adults over 21 years. However, the bill was voted against by a narrow 51%.
Now, upon news that the state has finally succeeded in legalizing cannabis via Prop 207, there's an additional positive development within Maricopa County, which is the largest county in the state, that a prosecutor will be dropping pending cannabis-related charges faced by adults.
"Instead of continuing to spend resources on these cases, this office will begin implementing the will of the voters immediately," the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said in a written statement Monday.
The move is welcomed by cannabis advocates, particularly given the dubious reasoning behind the War on Drugs, and the war on cannabis more specifically.
Arizona isn't the first state to expunge cannabis records, as New York did so just a few months ago, following the lead of Nevada, where over 15,000 people with cannabis convictions were pardoned after the state approved legislation to expunge low-level cannabis convictions, and Colorado, who is also set to join the pot pardoning party.
JB Pritzker, the Illinois State Governor, has said that a "portion of every dollar" is dedicated towards those who have been judicially, socially, and economically disadvantaged in the past.
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