Opinion: Prop 207 benefits outweigh risks in AZ

The legalization of recreational marijuana will help Arizonans, not hurt.

Mikki Warriner, Style Editor

With the passage of Proposition 207 in this year’s election, Arizona will become the 16th state to make recreational marijuana sales legal. While somewhat controversial, this bill will overall decrease crime rates, benefit the economy, and create work opportunities that benefit all Arizonans.


Marijuana being fully decriminalized will help decrease the overall incarceration rate in many states, including Arizona. Approximately 20.8 percent of inmates are put away for drug offenses in Arizona, according to The Pima Liberator, a justice based news page out of Arizona. Data recorded by the American Civil Liberties Union gave proof that black people are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for marijauna than white people, despite the similar usage rates in the U.S.

With the implementation of Prop 207, many men and women will avoid spending time in prison for nonviolent, level I drug offenses. This is important because in many cases, once someone is in the system, it can be hard for them to work their way out. Due to a mark on their record that they may be required to disclose to a future employer, they may appear as a less desirable candidate for the job.

Economic Benefits

Additionally, the taxes put in place for marijuana will benefit the economy. According to an article done by Mrinalini Krishna titled “The Economic Benefits of Legalizing Weed,” the tax revenue collected in 2019 in Colorado was more than $302 million for recreational and medical marijuana. In 2019, sales in the US were $12.2 billion and that number is projected to increase up to $31.1 billion in 2024. A cannabis research institute at Colorado State, reported that in 2017, the legal marijuana industry contributed $80.8 million to the economy solely through taxes and other fees.

Legalizing recreational use of marijuana can also bring costs for society and taxpayers. With the drug being legal, it has a higher chance of causing harm. There is the chance of having increased hospital visits, medical care, and drugged driving accidents. But, if new laws relating to the legalization are followed, such as no smoking and driving, society will benefit.

Employment Oportunities

This will in turn promote more jobs for Arizonans. Starting up marijuana farms and dispensaries for recreational use will set up even more jobs in the cannabis industry. In California, there were at least 81,000 new jobs related to the marijuana industry once it was legalized.

Legalizing marijuana is going to bring in multiple new job opportunities and more money for the economy overall for Arizona.