It was a LONG 730 days. Finally, however, the 2018 midterms have taken place and we can move forward once more w our cannabis reforms now we know who the new elected officials are. 2018 was a decidedly mixed bag for AZ. But there are plenty of bright spots to appreciate.

Please use these links to congratulate the winners and get them ready for a hard fought couple of years of cannabis reform. With your help we can make this election the one that turns the tide.



(D) Rep. Raul Grijalva*- A true champion on the issue, Grijalva was first AZ congressperson to work for reform. An NCIA 6 for 6. A+

(R) Rep. David Schweikert*-That’s right, Scottsdale’s GOP representative has a perfect NCIA 6 for 6, like Grijalva, including key votes on banking protections and restricting the DOJ from interfering w state programs. A

(D) Rep. Ruben Gallego*- Longest AZ champion on the issue, both at the state and federal levels. As a state legislator, Gallego was the first to introduce legislation for full adult use in AZ, a 6 for 60 on NCIA and cosigner on dozens of bills. A+

F rated congressmen Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs both were reelected. CD9 Former PHX mayor Greg Stanton is a win. Stanton had pledged to meet w the AZ industry and activists if elected. Returning Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (CD2) is now an MMJ supporter, giving us 5 potential allies in Congress, 2 prohibitionists and 2 moderates.


Both Pete Sessions (TX) and Bob Goodlatte (VA) lost their seats in the House. Sessions was head of the House Rules Committee that blocked reforms for the past several years. Goodlatte was head of the House Judiciary Committee and did the same. Today in the aftermath of the election, our biggest federal obstacle, AG Jeff Sessions resigned. While this could prove devastating to the Robert Mueller Russian influence investigation, this removes the biggest prohibitionist blocking reform. W pro-reform heads on House committees, we expect major progress there.

Ballot Measures

Missouri and Utah both succeeded w their medical marijuana ballot measures and Michigan approved adult use. Utah will be holding a special legislative session to implement the initiative. Missouri NORML both wrote the initiative and led the campaign that passed their ballot measure by 66%. Michigan is now the 10th state to legalize, meaning now ¼ of the US population lives a legal state.

ConnecticutMichiganMinnesotaIllinois elected governors who campaigned on legalization, California and Colorado elected governors that have already been part of their legalization and New Mexico and Maine got rid of prohibitionist governors. Maine’s Paul LePage had blocked implementing the state’s 2016 vote to legalize for two years now.



A-rated Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema is trailing and likely to lose. Statewide office cannabis reform supporters: Garcia, Contreras, Sears, Hobbs and Manoil all lost. Which means Kimberly Yee, a leading prohibitionist, will be our next state treasurer. Many pro-cannabis Democratic challengers lost in their battles to unseat incumbents.

Pro-cannabis Legislative Race Winners


LD 2 Dalessandro

LD 4 Otondo

LD5 Borrelli

LD9 Steele

LD10 Bradley

LD19 Contreras

LD 24 Alston

LD26 Mendez

LD27 Rios

LD29 Quezada

LD30 Navarrete

11 of 30


LD 2 Gabaldon & Hernandez

LD3 Cano

LD4 Fernandez

LD10 Friese and Powers-Hannley

LD18 Epstein

LD19 Espinosa

LD21 Payne

LD22 Toma

LD24 Longdon

LD26 Blanc, Salman

LD27 Rodriguez

LD28 Butler

LD29 Chavez, Andrade

LD30 Teran, Meza

19 of 60

Returning Prohibitionists

LD1 Sen Fann, Rep Campbell

LD6 Rep Thorpe

LD11 Sen Leach, Rep Finchem

LD14 Reps Griffin & Nutt

LD15 Rep Barto

LD16 Sen Farnsworth, Rep Townsend

LD20 Sen Boyer, Rep Kern

LD23 Rep Kavanaugh

13 total

Legislative Plans for 2019 Legislative Session

AZ-NORML will be pursuing bills w Republicans Sen Borrelli, Reps Payne, Rivero, Toma and Stringer. Democrats, Sens Mendez and Navarrete, Reps Powers-Hannley, Freise, Engel, Espinosa, Salman, and Chavez.

Ideas currently in play:



  1. Defelonization
  2. Redefining cannabis and removing it from the list of Narcotic class four felonies.


  1. Training for LEOs on MMJ rights
  2. Removing metabolite criteria from cannabis DUI
  3. Allowing DHS to do longitudinal anonymous research on patients, product use and strains

Popular Ideas for AZ Legislation in General Discussion

  1. Removing list of qualifying conditions and replacing it w a CA-like doctor recommendation
  2. Reciprocity for out of state patients to shop in dispensaries
  3. Testing standards and independent testing licensing
  4. Extending cards to two-five years
  5. Regulating caregivers: requiring testing and inspections in trade for allowing them to sell into the wholesale market
  6. Expanding types of medical staff who can certify patients
  7. Creating a set conversion rate for flower to concentrate products