The History of Marijuana in Arizona

Arizona is known as one of the most conservative law and order states, though it has a light history with cannabis that dates back to 1996. At this time the state passed legislation revolting against the Drug War, Proposition 200, also known as the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act, allowing doctors to prescribe Schedule I drugs, such as marijuana to patients. Governor John Fife Symington signed the legislation with hesitation, “Proposition 200 is a thinly veiled attempt to legalize drugs at the expense of public safety. I decided not to exercise the governor's veto authority because there are other avenues available through the Legislature and the courts to address the threats it poses." Symington felt he had no other choice, but proponents of the new law believed Arizona’s drug laws were too harsh to begin with because the state focused on incarcerating drug users, which wasn’t working

Proposition 200 shifted the state’s focus to treatment and prevention, though the law established a new system of dealing with drug convictions. The Senate then passed a bill delaying the medical marijuana initiative, so the state didn’t officially legalize until 2010, when Arizona voters enacted a medical marijuana initiative.


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