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Sep 20, 2013 9:05 PM by Erika Flores

Group works to legalize marijuana, put measure on 2016 ballot

TUCSON - A campaign to legalize marijuana in Arizona is drawing attention from the state's medical marijuana dispensary operators.

The national campaign "Marijuana Policy Project" hopes to put the measure on the 2016 ballot, but some dispensary operators said the focus should be put elsewhere.

Medical marijuana card users and dispensaries are speaking out about the efforts to put an initiative on the ballot that would legalize marijuana fully in Arizona.

"We'll be working with businesses and advocates and organizations around the state of Arizona over the next year or so to develop the best possible initiative," said Mason Tvert with Marijuana Policy Project.

But some marijuana dispensary operators believe more energy should be put in furthering medical marijuana education instead.

"At this time I think it needs to be focused on the fact that it is a medication, a powerful medication, very useful to very many people and should be treated like that with a lot of respect. I don't think it's recreational. That's not the intention of it," said Michael Schmidt with Nature Med.

Shawn Earl, a medical marijuana patient hopes the initiative does get on the ballot.

"I actually think it would help promote the medicinal use of marijuana," said Earl.

So far, marijuana has been legalized in Washington state and Colorado.

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