America

Ariz. Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Use

The storefront of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary that hopes to win approval from Arizona health of

The Medical Marijuana Dispensary hopes to receive approval to open from Arizona health officials, following passage of Prop 203. Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ross D. Franklin/AP

Here's something I really wasn't looking for - by the teeniest of margins, Arizona voters have approved Proposition 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. It allows ill people to treat pain with marijuana, provided they have a doctor's consent. The initiative passed by 4,421 votes, out of more than 1.6 million cast; the measure first seemed to be losing until officials spent the weekend tabulating absentee and provisional ballots.

The Arizona Republic reports the state's Department of Health Services may start reviewing marijuana use applications by next April. The AP notes Arizona becomes the 15th state to approve medical marijuana. I'll be interested to see how Arizona voters want to tax it; the Stockton Record points out the California cities that do:

Nearly 67 percent of Stockton voters approved Measure I, which allows the city to levy a 2.5 percent tax on sales at medical marijuana dispensaries. ... In Sacramento, the city can now levy a tax of up to 4 percent on medical pot outlets. Berkeley's tax is 2.5 percent, and in Oakland, a 1.8 percent tax rate increased to 5 percent.

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