More Arizonans die from opiate overdose from prescription drugs or heroin than die in motor vehicle accidents. A Harvard study in  the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that states with medical cannabis had a 25% lower overdose mortality rate from opioid prescription drug overdose when compared with states where marijuana is illegal.  That is a significant savings in lives. Another recent study said that states with medical marijuana saw an overall decrease in prescriptions among Medicare, which resulted in a significant cost savings. That is great news.

I support marijuana legalization for economic and humanitarian reasons. I believe that Arizona should legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. Over-policing of marijuana does nothing more than feed the private prison industry, add to our mass incarceration problem, waste taxpayer money on prisons, and ruin people’s lives.

We shouldn’t waste money on marijuana enforcement. We should focus on the drugs that kill and addict people. [Paid for by Pamela Powers Hannley for House.]