In a surprise ballot-count turnaround, a law to legalize medical marijuana use in Arizona has passed by a narrow margin, The Associated Press reports.
Arizona is the fifteenth state to have approved a medical marijuana law. The new law allows those deemed by their doctor to be suffering from "chronic or debilitating" diseases, including cancer, AIDS and hepatitis C, to grow plants or to buy two and a half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. The law limits the number of dispensaries in the state to 124.
"The measure was opposed by all of Arizona's sheriffs and county prosecutors, the governor, the state attorney general and many other politicians," AP reports. Following initial counts on election day, the measure appeared poised to fail, but when all the ballots were counted Saturday, Proposition 203 won by 4,341 votes out of more than 1.67 million ballots counted.
Andrew Myers, campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, said he believes Arizona's program is "an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the country on what a good medical marijuana program looks like."
In a recent guest post for ACSblog, Alex Kreit discusses how marijuana legalization has become a mainstream political issue.