Arizona’s Proposition 207 in Practice: Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on Public Safety and Workload for Criminal Justice System Actors A Model for Lawmakers Looking To Legalize

By Ashley Oddo, Shannon Johanni & Jana Hrdinová. 

Marijuana-related initiatives in Arizona (and nationwide) demonstrate a progression from informal social acceptance to formal legalization after decades of prohibition. In Arizona, medical marijuana use was legalized in 2010 followed by the legalization of adult recreational marijuana use in 2020. Prior to Arizona’s legalization proponents argued that public safety would improve and resources would be freed, allowing those resources to be re-allocated to focus on addressing serious and violent crime. On the other hand, opponents claimed, in part, that legalization would result in a direct correlation with a rise in crime. What few considered was the need for carefully crafted legislation that allowed criminal justice actors to effectively and efficiently implement it. Full Article.