Arizona Prop 205 Bad for Businesses and Safety

Arizona Prop 205 Bad for Businesses and Safety

For the upcoming election, Arizona has Proposition 205, a proposition to regulate marijuana recreationally like alcohol, on the ballot. Recreational marijuana is a hot topic issue in social politics, and despite being legal in Washington, District of Columbia, Colorado, and Alaska, it could be detrimental to the state of Arizona and to businesses. Not only is recreational marijuana dangerous, but AZ Prop 205 is also a poorly written proposition, leaving out many issues regarding regulation that will not be addressed and are being overlooked by voters. The proposition says nothing about driving and DUIs, making it extremely difficult to charge someone with a DUI who is under the influence of marijuana. Unlike Colorado, Prop 205 does not give local government the ability to ban marijuana grows, giving the power to pro-marijuana forces. And due to Voter Protection Laws, the bill cannot be changed or vetoed by Governor Ducey once passed, making this a “no turning back” issue, in the hands of the voters.

The “Yes on 205” campaign signs are also extremely misleading, saying “Safer Communities, Money for Schools.” Seeing as the proposition doesn’t address safety in communities or additional funding for K-12 education, that seems to be a stretch. Legalization of marijuana would not make communities safer, if anything it would do the opposite.

The proposition not addressing DUIs and traffic accidents is very dangerous, making it almost impossible to regulate and to charge anyone causing harmful accidents until the legislation addresses this, and this is a serious issue for voters and citizens in Arizona. Traffic related accidents due to marijuana in Colorado have almost doubled, and it is a grave mistake for Arizona’s Prop 205 to not address this key issue. An argument being made from the Yes on 205 side is that there is no way of testing marijuana inebriation like alcohol (i.e. the breathalyzer) and that marijuana stays in your system longer, making it impossible to tell if an individual is being affected now or were 2 weeks ago and it is still showing up in their system, but this brings up a good point. Without the option of something like a breathalyzer, it makes it very difficult to charge someone with traffic related issues and DUIs, especially with the recently changed laws on probable cause.  

When asked about Prop 205 in regards to the effects on business, Matthew Perry, a strong opponent of Prop 205, said, “There are a lot of ways to end the war on drugs. Punishing entrepreneurs by telling them they can't fire an employee isn't a good way to do it.” This raises good points about the legal side of Prop 205 in terms of businesses, because now, with how the proposition is written, employers cannot fire employees for showing up under the influence of marijuana, which obviously hinders their job performance and could be potentially harmful to other employees. Taking this sort of power away from businesses and small business owners essentially forces them to keep on staffers that either show up under the influence or fail to pass drug tests.

Prop 205 is bad for conservatives due to the expansion of state government to help with regulation of marijuana. It creates a new department in the state government, the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, to help regulate, which is a cost to taxpayers, and is an expansion of government. At the basis of conservatism, this is against our principles, because conservatives believe in taking away power from the government. This bill expands state government and power, pushing the left’s agenda of having the state control every aspect of our lives.

If they want marijuana regulated like alcohol, then write legislation that actually does that, rather than leaving out key issues because it is convenient for their agenda. Very simply, conservatives should be against any bill that expands state and federal government and takes power away from the individual, despite being disguised as a liberty-minded proposition. When asked about the issues with prop 205 in regards to power, Greg Hansen, chairman for AZ Right to Life, said, “The purpose of business is to create and deliver value to people. Prop 205 creates crony business by picking winners and losers.”

Voting yes or no has nothing to do recreational marijuana; this bill is so poorly written that passing it would be a public safety concern. With a bill written this poorly, voters must see the costs of voting yes and hopefully see that voting no and waiting for a more thorough legislation is  a viable option. Voters should wait for better legislation that addresses all the issues and keeps public safety in mind. This bill could be detrimental to public safety, businesses, and Arizona as a whole, and hopefully voters in Arizona will see these issues and vote accordingly.

Follow this author on Twitter @shannadnelson 

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