Phoenix resident Travis VandenBrul wants Arizona to be the first state in the country to reverse all drug laws (including hard drugs like methamphetamine and heroin) by means of public vote. He will need almost 360,000 valid signatures by mid-2019 to get the proposal to qualify for the 2020 tally.
Arizona Capitol Times reports. VandenBrul’s dream isn’t too far-fetched. In 2001, Portugal ended up being the very first European nation to decriminalize all drugs. Since then, the nation’s level of drug usage has dropped to one of the lowest in the European Union. Authorities now focus more on dealing with severe drug dependencies with treatment programs rather than jailing offenders.
In 2016, the annual report released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy found that drug prohibition has actually had “little or no impact” on drug usage rates worldwide. And in August 2018 the Eastern European country Georgia said that smoking cannabis in the country is legal after a Georgian court ruled the “permission to consume marijuana is an act of protection of the person’s right to totally free development.”
VandenBrul understands such a proposal is possibly too outlandish for Arizona citizens, so his other idea is to begin slow by decriminalizing marijuana and hashish (marijuana extracts) in the state.