The Chamber was pleased to welcome Gov. Doug Ducey to our office this morning for a roundtable with business leaders, trade association executives and other organizations to discuss the various negative impacts facing the state if a marijuana legalization initiative likely to appear on the fall ballot were to pass into law.
The big takeaway? There’s no upside to legalizing pot.
Accompanying the Governor this morning was state Director of Children, Youth and Families Debbie Moak, who shared the looming problems for businesses and society if the initiative were to pass. We commend the Governor’s decision to have Director Moak at the forefront of this debate. She has more than three decades of experience in this arena where she has inspired and educated families and communities. She co-founded the non-profit, notMYkid, which creates prevention-based programs for the most common behavioral health issues facing children, including substance abuse.
Huge societal costs outweigh any so-called “benefits.” Through her previous experience as an elementary classroom teacher, she understands first-hand the costs this initiative will have on Arizona’s children and families. The tremendous societal repercussions, enforcement costs and additional regulatory bureaucracy outweigh any so-called revenues that result from legalized pot.
As bad for education as Proposition 123 is good. For a state in the midst of an education funding conversation, legalized recreational marijuana undoes the potential of Proposition 123 and all the efforts we and our business community allies are putting forth to create a world-class education system that will help to attract and retain top employers. Legalizing marijuana is not an economic development strategy.
Just another set of bureaucratic and legal hurdles for employers. Legalizing recreational marijuana will be a workplace nightmare for Arizona employers, a point outlined in a policy brief released by our Foundation. We share the Governor’s vision of making Arizona the best state in the nation in which to do business and continue to support public policy to that end. No state has ever been stoned on its way to prosperity.
The Arizona Chamber is opposed to this initiative. Every credible civic group and trade association should be too.