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Petitioners in Arizona Force Referendum on Laws Dismantling Proposition 200


August 1997

On July 16, referendum petitioners in Arizona submitted about 100,000 signatures to block two new laws that dismantled Proposition 200, the drug policy reform initiative approved by voters last November by a 2 to 1 margin (Associated Press, "Petitioners force referendum," The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), July 17, 1997; Hal Mattern, "100,200 sign petitions for marijuana law," Arizona Republic, July 17, 1997).

Proposition 200 allowed for the medical use of marijuana, and other Schedule I drugs. However, in April the Arizona legislature passed and Governor Fife Symington (R) signed two measures (H.B. 2518 and H.B. 1373) that effectively repealed the medical marijuana and other provisions of Proposition 200 (see "Arizona Lawmakers Dismantle Proposition 200," NewsBriefs, May-June 1997).

The submission of referendum signatures delays the implementation of the two laws that altered Proposition 200 until the referendum is voted on in the November 1998 general election. Under the Arizona constitution, 56,481 signatures force a referendum on any law approved by the state legislature. The referendum signature drive was led by The People Have Spoken, formerly known as Arizonans for Drug Policy Reform, the group which led the effort to pass Proposition 200.

The People Have Spoken - (602) 941-6814.