Recreational Cannabis in Arizona From Prop 207 Initiative
Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, was voted in on November 3, 2020. It has been coined “Recreational Marijuana,” but is this a fair assessment? After all, recreation brings to mind pleasure and fun.

In reality, the Smart and Safe Act is much more than recreational marijuana. At its core, it focuses on bringing about economic, political, and social repair in Arizona communities. It no longer limits the plant’s application to specific severe medical conditions but allows its use by all responsible adults.

The thought process behind this was to address the consequences of illegal cannabis use, resulting in overcrowded prisons filled with nonviolent offenders. In doing so, the freedom of choice is not only restored but civil rights as well. The Act breaks down the economic and racial disparities stemming from felony convictions that occur with charges stemming from possession. It further reduces animosity between communities and the law enforcement in place to protect them by legalizing what most deem to be a safer alternative to alcohol.

When thought of in this way, the term recreational marijuana is unfitting. It does not give credit to a truly historical moment in Arizona history. Nonetheless, a more in-depth look into the term’s origin might change one’s mind about the term, as its foundation is found in healing. It has been used to describe a person being cured of a disease, recovery from sickness, and invigoration, refreshment, and restoration.

Activists and industry have bridged the divide and imbalances between government and people with Smart and Safe. Communities can be healed from inequalities that cause disparaging consequences as the laws align with long-held beliefs. Economies can be re-invigorated, and faith in democracy can begin to be restored.

The war has impacted many families and lives on drugs. In 2010, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act began to shed some light at the end of an otherwise dark tunnel. And now, with the passing of the 2020 Smart and Safe Arizona Act, we see a full light on the path to recovery from all of the pain inflicted before. This recovery is being built on a bedrock of cooperation, medicine, tolerance, understanding, and unity of all.

Harvest Health & Recreation was a start-up in 2012 that requested me to share botanical medicine and cannabis culture knowledge. Since that time, I have worked with business stakeholders, government representatives, industry leaders, and medical organizations to assist patients in our community in gaining access to safe cannabis in an informed manner.

There have been many medical success stories along the way. Along with them has come a renewed hope and optimism for the future use of this wonderful plant in all of its forms, be it medical or leisure, fiber or fuel, food or spirituality. This expanded access, by whatever name you call it, is the healthiest option for our community.