An amendment that would delete Arizona’s cannabis tax and licensing program was pulled by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Scott Bungaard (R-Glendale). Bungaard plans to reintroduce the amendment next week.
Bungaard’s move to repeal Arizona’s tax stamp legislation stems from a November 1995 ruling by Northwest Phoenix Court Justice Judge John Barclay that dismissed charges against Arizona NORML Chairman Peter Wilson because of evidence that he was licensed by the state to sell marijuana. Basing his decision on constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy, Judge Barclay concluded that Wilson could not be prosecuted for possession of marijuana because of taxes he had already paid the Arizona Department of Revenue to sell cannabis. The state is currently appealing the decision.
“Having this law gives the appearance that we have decriminalized [marijuana] use in this state,” Rep. Bungaard said.
“If the legislature allows Rep. Bungaard to submit a new bill, it will open this issue up to public debate within both the House and Senate,” said Bill Green of Arizona NORML. “Our goal is to be well organized so that we [can] actively [lobby the legislature] at that time.”
For more information, please contact AZ4NORML at (602) 921-2724. Information regarding Arizona Cannabis Tax Stamps can also be found on the Internet at http://www.amug.org/~az4norml/