The use of medical marijuana in Arizona was legalized in 2012. However, now, the state's attorney general Mark Brnovich stands for the prohibition of cannabis consumption on college campuses. He has already filed a petition with the Arizona Supreme Court.
Brnovich wants to bring back the ban on medical marijuana use among college students. Under the legislation, they would be prosecuted for possessing any amount of the herb for medical purposes.
However, the process of launching bills is now more complex than it was before 2017. For instance, Governor Ducey canceled payments for collecting signatures. Moreover, petitions can now be rejected on the grounds of being improperly compiled and submitted.
According to the new rules, no changes can be made to voter initiatives. Attorney Tom Dean thinks that it is precisely the reason this petition exists.
The main justification of this initiative is that colleges and universities are not allowed to receive federal funds if illicit substances are permitted on campuses. Though medical marijuana has been legalized in Arizona, the herb is still prohibited on the federal level.
In his interview to the Phoenix New Times, Dean expressed confidence that the Arizona Supreme Court would support the initiative as the drug had been already banned from elementary and high school facilities according to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
However, even if the attorney general prohibits the use of medical cannabis on university and college campuses, penalties for marijuana possession cannot be criminalized as it would be against the state's medical marijuana laws. Moreover, Dean said that no higher educational establishment has ever lost their federal funding because of the decriminalization of medical marijuana.
Nevertheless, the office of the attorney general is convinced the initiative will pull through. In their message, they point out that the 2010 voter-approved law forbids the possession of medical cannabis on public school premises. Therefore, the new initiative should also prevent the medical use of the substance on college campuses that receive funds from the federal government.