Arizona Primary: August 28, 2018
This voters’ guide and “Report Card” has been the result of an amazing circle of researchers. AZ-NORML would like to thank Mike Robinette, George Griffiths, and Madison Grey for the long hours of work it took to research and rate over 300 candidates. As could be expected, many, many candidates did not respond to the survey. (Even AZ Central had almost 200 non-responses to their survey). Our ratings are based on direct responses to our survey, personal interviews, campaign literature, and legislative track records. In addition to rating the incumbents, as much as possible we have also profiled the candidates in the upcoming primary. When we could determine a candidate’s position on a standard assortment of cannabis issues, those responses are displayed in all-caps. In some cases where they responded to our survey, we have included their quotes.
2018 AZ Incumbent Report Card
Senate John McCain (R) C, Jeff Flake (R) D+
Congressional District 1 Tom O’Halleran (D) C-
Congressional District 2 Martha McSally (R) C-
Congressional District 3 A+ Raul Grijalva (D)
Congressional District 4 Paul Gosar (R) F
Congressional District 5 Andy Biggs (R) F
Congressional District 6 David Schweikert (R) B
Congressional District 7 Ruben Gallego (D) A+
Congressional District 8 Debbie Lesko (R) C-
Congressional District 9 Kyrsten Sinema (D) B
AZ State Legislature
State Senate District 01 Karen Fann (R) C+
State Senate District 02 Andrea Dalessandro (D) A
State Senate District 03 Olivia Cajero Bedford (D) B-
State Senate District 04 Lisa Otondo (D) A
State Senate District 05 Sonny Borrelli (R) A
State Senate District 06 Sylvia Allen (R) F
State Senate District 07 Jamescita Peshlakai (D) B-
State Senate District 08 Franklin Pratt (R) C-
State Senate District 09 Steve Farley (D) B-
State Senate District 10 David Bradley (D) A-
State Senate District 11 Steve Smith (R) C+
State Senate District 12 Warren Petersen (R) D+
State Senate District 13 Sine Kerr (R) new to Senate, positions unknown
State Senate District 14 Gail Griffin (R) D
State Senate District 15 Nancy Barto (R) D
State Senate District 16 David Farnsworth (R) D+
State Senate District 17 Steven Yarbrough (R) D
State Senate District 18 Sean Bowie (D) C+
State Senate District 19 Lupe Contreras (D) B
State Senate District 20 Kimberly Yee (R) F
State Senate District 21 Sen. Rick Gray (R) C+
State Senate District 22 Judy Burges (R) D
State Senate District 23 John Kavanagh (R) F
State Senate District 24 Katie Hobbs (D) C-
State Senate District 25 Bob Worsley (R) D+
State Senate District 26 Juan Mendez (D) A+
State Senate District 27 Catherine Miranda (D) C+
State Senate District 28 Kate Brophy McGee (R) C
State Senate District 29 Martin Quezada (D) A
State Senate District 30 Robert Meza (D) B
State House District 01 Noel Campbell (R) D-, David Stringer (R) C
State House District 02 Rep. Rosana Gabaldon (R) A, Daniel Hernandez (D) B+
State House District 03 Macario Saldate (D) A- Sally Gonzales (D) B-
State House District 04 Charlene Fernandez (D) A- Geraldine Peten (D) B
State House District 05 Paul Mosley (R) C- Regina Cobb (R) D+
State House District 06 Bob Thorpe (R) F Brenda Barton (R) F
State House District 07 Eric Descheenie (D) B- Wenona Benally (D) B-
State House District 08 David Cook (R) C T.J. Shope (R) B-
State House District 09 Randall Friese (D) B Pamela Powers Hannley (D) A+
State House District 10 Kirsten Engel (D) B Todd Clodfelter (R) A-
State House District 11 Vince Leach (R) F Mark Finchem (R) D
State House District 12 Travis Grantham (R) B- Eddie Farnsworth (R) F
State House District 13 Rep. Timothy Dunn (R) B- Darin Mitchell (R) C
State House District 14 Drew John (R) D Becky Nutt (R) D
State House District 15 Heather Carter (R) D- John Allen (R) D+
State House District 16 Doug Coleman (R) D Kelly Townsend (R) F
State House District 17 Jeff Weninger (R) C J.D. Mesnard (R) D-
State House District 18 Jill Norgaard (R) C Mitzi Epstein (D) C-
State House District 19 Diego Espinoza (D) A Mark Cardenas (D) A+
State House District 20 Anthony Kern (R) D Paul Boyer (R) F
State House District 21 Tony Rivero (R) B- Kevin Payne (R) A
State House District 22 David Livingston (R) C- Ben Toma (R) C+
State House District 23 Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) C- Jay Lawrence (R) C+
State House District 24 Lela Alston (D) A- Ken Clark (D) A
State House District 25 Michelle Udall (R) C- Russell Bowers (R) D+
State House District 26 Isela Blanc (D) B+ Athena Salman (D) A
State House District 27 Rebecca Rios (D) B+ Reginald Bolding (D) B-
State House District 28 Maria Syms (R) D Kelli Butler (D) B+
State House District 29 Cesar Chavez (D) A- Richard Andrade (D) A+
State House District 30 Otoniel Navarrete (D) B- Ray Martinez (D) A
US Senate (R)
F Mr. Joe Arpaio –Despite grudgingly, minimally, acknowledging medical marijuana somewhat late in his career, Arpaio, a former DEA agent, who still brags about killing suspects when fighting the Drug War overseas, has one of the worst records on cannabis justice in the history of American politics.
C-Rep. Martha McSally-Typical law-n-order conservative.
F State Sen. Kelli Ward-Despite her lackluster career as a doctor before going into politics, Ward’s blind ignorance of even the most basic facts about medical cannabis, led her to consistently attack the state’s medical marijuana program while in office.
US Senate (D)
B+ Ms. Deedra Abboud-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE A brave Muslim-American willing to take on AZ’s bigoted electorate, Abboud has spoken in favor of cannabis reforms.
B Rep. Kyrsten Sinema-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE While avoiding the topic in general, Sinema has issued statements calling for the federal government to allow state programs to operate without interference and for increased access for veterans.
Congressional District 1 (R)
? Ms. Wendy Rogers
? Ms. Tiffany Shedd
C+ State Sen. Steve Smith-MEDICAL USE His stance as opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for MMJ was a bright spot in republican leadership.
Congressional District 1 (D)
C- Rep. Tom O’Halleran Consistently avoids discussion.
Congressional District 2 (R)
? Mr. Daniel R. Morales Jr.
? Mr. Casey B. Welch
? Ms. Marilyn Wiles
Congressional District 2 (D)
C- Dr. Matthew G. Heinz-Another doctor who should know better but resists making statements on cannabis.
C Rep. Ann L. Kirkpatrick-After years of discussion, Kirkpatrick now accepts medical uses, but does not support wider legalization.
A- Mr. William R. Kovacs-Though a longshot Kovacs supports the issue and has developed positions on the topic. Great answers, but no track record yet.
B Mr. Jeffrey L. Latas -Another longshot, Latas has supported the concept of cannabis reform but issued no positions on the topic.
A State Rep. Bruce Wheeler-Strong reform supporter. As a state legislator, Wheeler has worked for reform since 2013.
Congressional District 3 (D)
A+ Rep. Raul Grijalva-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A true champion on the issue, Grijalva was first AZ congressperson to work for reform.
Congressional District 3 (R)
? Mr. Sergio Arellano
? Mr. Joe N. Pierson
? Ms. Edna San Miguel
? Mr. Paul M. Evans
Congressional District 4 (R)
F Rep. Paul Gosar-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE Despite repeated meetings and a medical degree as a dentist, Gosar has consistently stayed on wrong side of issue, even for vets, Proposed some draconian anti-cannabis bills over the years.
Congressional District 4 (D)
A+ Dr. David Brill-Supporter of Prop205, as a VA Administrator, Brill pushed to allow cannabis therapy.
A Ms. Delina DiSanto-Former congressional staffer, DiSanto is a longshot, but on the right side of the issue.
Congressional District 4 (Green)
A+ Haryaksha Gregor Knauer-Usually we can skip 3rd party candidates for larger offices like Congress, but Knauer’s consistently fought for cannabis reform and even works in the industry. Worth mentioning.
Congressional District 5 (D)
? Ms. Joan Greene
? Mr. Tony Margalis
? Mr. Jose L. Torres
Congressional District 5 (R)
F Rep. Andy Biggs-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE As former President of the AZ State Senate, Biggs has been a dedicated obstacle to reform despite numerous meetings in both PHX and DC.
Congressional District 6 (D)
? Ms. Anita Malik
? Mr. Garrick A. McFadden
? Ms. Heather Maura Ross
A- Mr. W. John Williamson-A previous candidate, high school teacher Williamson has supported the issue with limits in each of his campaigns.
Congressional District 6 (R)
B Rep. David Schweikert-A verbal supporter of AZ’s medical cannabis industry, thanks to the deep pockets of dispensaries in his district, Schweikert is yet to take actual stances to fight for reform.
Congressional District 7 (D)
A+ Rep. Ruben Gallego-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL, DECRIMINALIZE 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.
C+ State Sen. Catherine Miranda-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Despite leadership position hasn’t advanced cause.
Congressional District 8 (D)
C Dr. Hiral Tipirneni-Avoids the topic.
Congressional District 8 (R)
C- Rep. Debbie Lesko-MEDICAL USE ONLY Formerly resistant as a state legislator, Lesko has lightened position somewhat thanks to working w LEAP.
? Dr. Sandra E. Dowling
Congressional District 9 (R)
? Ms. Irina Baroness Von Behr
? Mr. Steve Ferrara
D Mr. David V. Giles-In previous campaigns, Giles has called for a crackdown on cannabis rights.
Congressional District 9 (D)
B- Mr. Greg Stanton-As mayor of Phoenix, Stanton has avoided multiple opportunities to defend the issue.
? Mirza Fareed Baig (write-in candidate)
C Sen. Steve Farley-Though he has had years at the legislature to work for reforms, Farley has refused to take a stand.
? Kelly Fryer
B+ David Garcia-On the other hand, David Garcia’s campaign has courted the industry and made a statement on the current AZ Concentrates Crisis. Though cautious, Garcia is helping the cause.
C- Gov. Doug Ducey-Prior to this year’s legislative session, Ducey’s record was totally F-ed. However, he did sign the hemp bill and has promised to work w the industry to create reforms this upcoming session.
D Ken Bennett-A former Arizona Secretary of State, Bennett has spoken against cannabis repeatedly.
? Robert Weber- Write-in candidate.
A- Noah Dyer-Easily one of the wildest gubernatorial candidates in the history of AZ (or probably anywhere), write-in candidate Dyer tried to make his way onto the Democratic ticket, but that party rejected him, even before he was skewered nationally on The Daily Show for his positions (pun intended). Turns out Dyer is more of a sexual mores reformer, calling for group sex and extramarital affairs to be championed, but happens to also like an occasional doobie between round of menage a troi.
A- Angel Torres-Another write-in candidate, Torres has supporters in the cannabis industry, but a longshot even in this primary, due to Dyer’s name recognition thanks to his wacky media appearances.
A Barry Hess-Perpetual Libertarian standard bearer, Hess, has spoke favorably on cannabis for years and is one of the few politicians to show up to DHS hearings on reforms.
B+ January Contreras-While Contreras says the “jury is still out” on whether or not legalization is a good thing, she does support the state’s medical program and has called for a dramatic shift in law enforcement priorities away from bedeviling the state’s $400 million dollar industry.
C Mark Brnovich-A mixed bag so far Brnovich, the incumbent, claimed to be a liberally minded GOP candidate when elected four years ago, but has done nothing to liberalize the AG’s office approach to cannabis issues. Thus far he hasn’t called for a crack down on the industry since the Jones decision, but it will take more than that to get a good rating.
A- Michael Kielsky-Write-in candidate Kielsky challenged notorious Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery twice among his many campaigns and appears to have the right perspective on cannabis … from a distance. Up close, he opposed Prop205 and comes off condescending when talking about the issue. Quote from his 2012 campaign: “It’s not for me, but you guys can smoke that shit all you want. Smoke it to death if you want to, but it’s not for me.”
SECRETARY OF STATE
C Sen. Katie Hobbs-As a leading Democratic senator, Hobbs has had numerous opportunities to support reforms and the cannabis industry. While she says she supports the idea of medical marijuana and signed on to other’s legislation, she has yet to take an active role.
? Leslie Pico
C Michele Reagan-A former prohibitionist state legislator, incumbent Reagan has modified her position to support the medical program, though in her role at SOS hasn’t had a position in any recent reforms. Due to massive election failures in the 2016 primary election, Reagan has been in the cross hairs of politicians on the left and the right and more vulnerable in her primary than usual.
? Steve Gaynor
A+ Jenn Gray-Though a longshot write-in candidate, Gray easily has the best record on cannabis issues. She attends industry meetings and volunteers with various cannabis reform groups.
? Mark Manoil-Though a noted libera progressive leader, Manoil appears to have avoided making statements on cannabis.
? Jo Ann Sabbagh
F- Sen. Kimberly Yee-A rare special case, State Senator Kimberly Yee is the kind of elite focused prohibitionist whose record is even below F status.
B+ William Pierce-Not that cannabis comes up when discussing mines that often (aside from the occasional truly “underground cultivator”), but Pierce loudly champions the medical program and voted yes on Prop205.
F Joe Hart-The incumbent on the other hand is a noted GOP Ideologue who even has his own rightwing talk radio station to disseminate misinformation. Hart’s belittled patients and reformers alike.
? Kim Ruff (write-in candidate)
C- Sandra Kennedy-Though Kennedy is a former corporation commissioner, she has been off the commission for the past three election cycles and steadily been less supportive or w reformers.
B William Mundell- A unique politician who has already served in all four branches of AZ state government (executive, judicial, legislative and also a former corporation commissioner himself), Mundell has spoken in favor of the state’s medical program and supported Prop205.
A Kiana Sears-A Phoenix-area school board member, Sears has been building her campaign for this race for the entire two year cycle and made multiple statements in favor of cannabis reforms along the way.
? Tom Forese-Currently an incumbent at the CorpComm, Forese has avoided taking stances on cannabis.
D Justin Olson-Another incumbent, Olson sat on the Judiciary Committee in the House where he aided prohibitionist extraordinaire, Eddie Farnsworth in blocking reform bills.
D- Rodney Glassman-A doctor, a lawyer, an officer, a millionaire and even former US Senate candidate, Glassman uniquely combines the arrogance and condescension of the most obnoxious examples of any of those fields. A Democrat in the 2010 elections, now running as “Conservative Trump Republican,” Glassman could claim to have any position and who could trust him to stick to it.
? James O’Connor
? Eric Sloan
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
B- Kathy Hoffman-Supports medical, doesn’t want to confuse education w cannabis issues.
B+ David Schapira-A former state senator and congressional candidate, currently Schapira is on the city council of one of AZ’s more liberal cities, Tempe. Schapira also supports medical and was in favor of Prop205.
D Diane Douglas-One of the more divisive political figures this election, incumbent Douglas has angered people in both parties with her support for higher taxes for education and giving billions to private schools at public ed expense. A strong voice opposing Prop205.
? Robert Branch
? Jonathan Gelbart
? Tracy Livingston-Wife of State Representative David Livingston.
? Frank Riggs-Former law enforcement, Riggs has been a candidate in both California and Arizona.
State Senate District 01 (R)
C- Sen. Karen Fann-MEDICAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY MINIMUMS Still full of misinformation after years of meetings, Fann claims to accept medical use, but still treats patients like suspects.
State Senate District 01 (D)
? Ms. Jo Craycraft
State Senate District 02 (R)
? Ms. Shelley M. Kais
? Mr. Bobby Wilson
State Senate District 02 (D)
A Sen. Andrea Dalessandro-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE- A longtime advocate on medical issues, Dalessandro writes, “Very UNfamiliar with cannabis personally – Strongly OPPOSES federal government policy – Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ Program – WILL advocate for reducing AZ Criminal Penalties if elected – Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization.”
State Senate District 03 (D)
? Ms. Betty Villegas
B- Sen. Sally Gonzales-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE
State Senate District 04 (D)
A Sen. Lisa Otondo-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Longtime supporter, Otondo filed bills on hemp and autism as a qualifying condition in 2018 session.
State Senate District 05 (R)
A Sen. Sonny Borrelli-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Despite a strong anti-legalization stance, Borrelli has emerged as a leading GOP reformer on medical cannabis issues, pushing through the 2018 hemp bill and working over a year on an unsuccessful bill that would have established testing standards for the industry.
State Senate District 05 (D)
B Ms. J’Aime Morgaine
State Senate District 06 (D)
? Mr. Wade Carlisle
State Senate District 06 (R)
F Sen. Sylvia Allen-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE Way off base on cannabis issues. Needs to be reeducated due to beliefs rooted in propaganda.
State Senate District 07 (R)
A Mr. John L. Mealer-As a former candidate for both governor and US Senate, Mealer supports cannabis.
State Senate District 07 (D)
B- Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai-DECRIMINALIZE. Signed on several bills over the years, but no leadership on issue.
State Senate District 08 (D)
? Mrs. Natali Fierros
? Ms. Sharon Girard
State Senate District 08 (R)
C- Sen. Franklin Pratt-MEDICAL USE ONLY Good meetings little action.
? Mr. Palmer Miller
State Senate District 09 (D)
? Mr. Jim Love
A Rep. Victoria L. Steele-A former state legislator, Steele is longtime supporter on issue.
State Senate District 10 (D)
A- Sen. David Bradley-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE ONLY, DECRIMINALIZE A longtime advocate. One of AZ’s first legislators to take meetings on reform.
State Senate District 10 (R)
? Ms. Marilyn Wiles
State Senate District 11 (R)
F Rep. Vince Leach-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE The most active prohibitionist over the last few years. Filed 6 anti-cannabis bills last session.
State Senate District 11 (D)
B Mr. Ralph Atchue
State Senate District 12 (D)
B+ Ms. Elizabeth Brown
State Senate District 12 (R)
F Rep. Eddie Farnsworth-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE One of cannabis’s dedicated opponents, Farnsworth has consistently blocked bills in his judiciary committee.
? Mr. Jimmy Lindblom
State Senate District 13 (D)
? Ms. Michelle Harris
State Senate District 13 (R)
? Mr. Brent Backus
? Sen. Sine Kerr-A midterm replacement, Kerr kept under the radar.
F Sen. Don Shooter DECRIMINALIZE, MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION In addition to being thrown out of office in 2018 for sexual harassment, Shooter has a consistent record of attacking cannabis reform.
? Mr. Royce Jenkins
State Senate District 14 (D)
? Ms. Mendy Gomez
? Mr. Jaime Alvarez
State Senate District 14 (R)
F Rep. David M. Gowan Sr.-A returning state legislator who has opposed the issue in the past.
D Rep. Drew John
? Ms. Lori Kilpatrick
State Senate District 15 (R)
D- Rep. Heather Carter-Though she says she is open to medical, she hasn’t heard cannabis bills in her health committee.
? Mr. Brian J. Lesinski
State Senate District 15 (D)
? Ms. Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko
State Senate District 16 (D)
? Mr. Benjamin Carmitchel
State Senate District 16 (R)
D Sen. David Farnsworth-NO MEDICAL USE Another prohibitionist leader, Farnsworth held several meetings on reform, but voted against it. Filed 3 anti-cannabis bills this session.
? Mr. Michael Hernandez
State Senate District 17 (D)
B- Mr. Steve Weichert-A fierce opponent to the GOP officeholders in his district, Weichert has sadly avoided taking a strong stance on cannabis.
State Senate District 17 (R)
D- Rep. J.D. Mesnard-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE As Speaker of the House, Mesnard torpedoed at least a dozen reform bills during his tenure.
State Senate District 18 (R)
? Mr. Frank Schmuck
Senate District 18 (D)
C Sen. Sean Bowie-Consistently avoids topic, claims district is too conservative to discuss it.
State Senate District 19 (D)
A- Sen. Lupe Chavira Contreras-While never a leader on the issue, Contreras has provided steady support and signed onto reform bills for the past several years.
State Senate District 20 (D)
? Mr. Douglas Ervin
? Mr. Matthew Marquez
State Senate District 20 (R)
F Rep. Paul Boyer-Leader in prohibitionist community, part of 2016 NO-vote campaign. Usually the most guaranteed NO vote in the legislature.
? Mr. Charles Loftus
State Senate District 21 (R)
C+ Sen. Rick Gray-MEDICAL USE ONLY, DECRIMINALIZE Resistant but open to discussion, supported hemp and testing bills this session.
? Mr. Randy Miller
State Senate District 22 (R)
B- Rep. David Livingston-MEDICAL USE ONLY Formerly resistant, has lightened position somewhat, assisted the testing bill this year.
F Mr. Clair Jerome Marion Van Steenwyk-F-ed in so many ways, Van Steenwyk is a perpetual Religious Right fringe candidate. Claims “illegal drugs” are sins and Jesus supports capital punishment for dealers.
State Senate District 22 (D)
A+ Ms. Wendy Garcia-Lifelong cannabis advocate at both state and federal level, Garcia is also leader in the Phoenix area Indivisible movement.
A Ms. Brianna B. Westbrook-Though far less experienced, Westbrook has been a clear voice on cannabis reform. Earlier this year, Ms Westbrook was America’s first transgender congressional candidate in the special election for AZ-08.
State Senate District 23 (D)
? Ms. Daria Lohman
State Senate District 23 (R)
? Mr. Timothy Jeffries
? Ms. Kristina Kelly
? Mr. Gavan Searles
C- Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita-MEDICAL USE ONLY
State Senate District 24 (D)
A- Rep. Lela Alston-LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Longtime supporter, as both a state senator and state representative Alston has signed on key bills, though not taken a leadership role on this issue.
State Senate District 24 (R)
? Ms. Vicki Alger
State Senate District 25 (R)
D+ Sen. Bob Worsley-MEDICAL USE ONLY Worsley says he supports medical but hasn’t been any help.
? Mr. Tyler Pace
State Senate District 25 (D)
? Dr. Kathy Mohr-Almeida
State Senate District 26 (R)
? Ms. Rebecca Speakman
State Senate District 26 (D)
A+ Sen. Juan Mendez-LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE ONLY, DECRIMINALIZE A leader in AZ legislative cannabis reform, Mendez has filed and backed bills for years on reform.
? Ms. Debbie Nez Manuel
State Senate District 27 (D)
? Mr. Cipriano Miranda
B+ Rep. Rebecca Rios-LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATEMEDICAL USE ONLYDECRIMINALIZE- Rios writes, “VERY familiar with cannabis personally – Strongly SUPPORTS federal government policy – Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ Program – WILL advocate for reducing AZ Criminal Penalties if elected – Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization.” (Rios’s efforts to work against SB1420 lowered her score.)
State Senate District 28 (R)
? Mr. Kenneth R. Bowers Jr.
C Sen. Kate Brophy McGee-Thus far, though McGee claims she has supported medical program, she has taken no action.
State Senate District 28 (D)
? Ms. Christine Porter Marsh
State Senate District 29 (D)
A Sen. Martin Quezada-LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATEMEDICAL USE ONLYDECRIMINALIZE. Another of the longtime supporters on the issue, Quezada writes, “Somewhat familiar with cannabis personally – Strongly OPPOSES federal government policy – Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ Program – WILL advocate for reducing AZ Criminal Penalties if elected – Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization.” Additional Comments: “I support the legalization of cannabis. I am also realistic about needing a long-term strategy to move the political needle to get there in order to get public and political buy-in. I am committed to working on ways to accomplish that.”
State Senate District 30 (D)
? Dr. Gabriel Escontrias Jr.
A Rep. Ray Martinez-LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Rep Martinez has strong support for the AZ medical program and hosted events at the capitol.
B- Rep. Otoniel-Navarrete LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATEMEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Several good meetings but no legislative action.
State House District 01 (D)
D Dr. Ed Gogek-Though Gogek acknowledges cannabis as medicine and claims he opposes AZ’s harsh cannabis criminal penalties, he has consistently worked against cannabis reform in general and was a leading voice in the NO-vote movements of both 2010 and 2016.
? Ms. Jan Manolis
State House District 01 (R)
D+ Rep. Noel Campbell-A former DEA pilot, Campbell professes to support the medical program, but continues to perpetuate debunked reefer madness myths from his days in law enforcement. If he wasn’t such a gentleman about his score would be lower.
C- Rep. David Stringer-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE. A former DC lawyer, Stringer claims to support issue but hasn’t helped, saying his district is too conservative.
? Ms. Jodi Rooney
State House District 02 (D)
A- Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Another longtime supporter, Rep Gabaldon has seen personal medical miracles for her family and friends.
B+ Rep. Daniel Hernandez LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A hero from the Gabby Giffords shooting in 2011, Hernandez has consistently supported a variety of progressive issues.
State House District 02 (R)
C Rep. J. Christopher Ackerley-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A conservative educator, Ackerley held the seat from 2014 thru 2016. Though Ackerley claims he supports the concept of legalization, he objects to tying cannabis reform to ed funding.
? Mr. Anthony Sizer
State House District 03 (D)
? Mr. Andres Cano
B- Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford-MEDICAL USE Cajero Bedford has supported some bills but not as a leader.
? Ms. Alma Hernandez
State House District 04 (R)
? Mr. Richard Hopkins
State House District 04 (D)
A- Rep. Charlene Fernandez LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Emerging as a legislative voice for the medical cannabis industry, Fernandez has backed several key pieces of legislation.
B Rep. Geraldine Peten-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE New to the legislature, Ms. Peten backed key bills this session.
State House District 05 (D)
B Ms. Mary McCord Robinson-Longtime activist, first-time candidate, McCord Robinson supports reform.
State House District 05 (R)
C+ Rep. Paul Mosley-DECRIMINALIZE Though embattled w unrelated scandals, Mosley found time to introduce a very weak decrim bill (only up to 1/8th) and signed on hemp bill.
D+ Dr. Regina Cobb-MEDICAL USE ONLY Cobb claims to support medical, has not taken meetings or supported reform bills in a discernable way.
D+ Mr. Leo Biasiucci-A former Green Party candidate, Biasiucci had claimed to support cannabis reform measures in 2016. However, his dramatic party shift and current billing as a “Trump Conservative,” bring all his positions into question.
A Ms. Jennifer Jones-Esposito-Hardcore Libertarian-conservative, Jennifer “Jade” Jones-Esposito has consistently supported cannabis reform measures as a candidate in the past 3 election cycles.
State House District 06 (D)
? Ms. Felicia French
? Mr. Bobby Tyler
State House District 06 (R)
F Rep. Bob Thorpe-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE A staunch prohibitionist, Thorpe literally wrote the book on Tea Party activism and has repeatedly rallied opposition to cannabis reforms at the capitol.
? Mr. Walter Blackman
? Mr. Stuart McDaniel
State House District 07 (D)
? Mr. Myron Tsosie
? Mr. Arlando S. Teller
State House District 07 (R)
? Mr. Doyel Shamley
State House District 08 (D)
? Mr. Pablo Correa
A- Ms. Carmen L. Casillas-A returning candidate, Casillas has called for reforms in all her campaigns.
? Ms. Linda C. Gross
State House District 08 (R)
C Rep. David Cook MEDICAL USE ONLY-Office mate of leading GOP reformer Kevin Payne, Cook supported the hemp and testing bill.
B Rep.T.J. Shope MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE-For years Shope has quietly supported cannabis reforms and shown some leadership on a couple of bills.
State House District 09 (D)
B Dr. Randall Friese MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE-The minority leader in the House, Doctor Friese has a key role in cannabis reform and had helped some bills along the way, however his efforts to work against SB1420 at the end of this past session lowered his score.
A+ Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE The strongest advocate in the state House, Powers-Hannley, a medical writer and MMJ card holder, is a leader on progressive causes (former chair of the state Democratic Party progressive caucus) and filed pro-cannabis bills in both years of her first term at the capitol. Powers-Hannley filed a bill that would have solved the AZ Concentrates Crisis this past session and is expected to have a robust reform agenda next session.
C- Mr. J.P. Martin-First-time candidate, Martin has a progressive pedigree, though is the comparative moderate in the primary against Hannley. Also working against him, in 2016 Martin was the campaign manager for Pima County prosecutor Barbara LaWall, who has built her reputation as a “drug warrior” and was challenged by cannabis reformer Joel Feinman. LaWall may have won, but Martin chose the wrong side of the issue.
State House District 09 (R)
? Ms. Ana Henderson
State House District 10 (D)
B Rep. Kirsten Engel LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Another urban progressive Engel has been an ally to Powers-Hannley on multiple bills including cannabis reform.
? Ms. Nikki Lee
? Ms. Catherine Ripley
? Mr. Domingo DeGrazia
State House District 10 (R)
A- Rep. Todd Clodfelter-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE Having attended an ALEC convention in Denver that was feted by the Colorado cannabis industry, Clodfelter came back a changed politician and filed more than one bipartisan cannabis reform bills this session.
State House District 11 (R)
? Mr. Howell Jones
? Mr. Bret Roberts
D Rep. Mark Finchem NO MEDICAL USE
? Mr. Bridger Kimball
State House District 11 (D)
B Col. Hollace Lyon-A former Air Force Colonel, Lyons has been a leader in her state party and supported the concept of sentencing reform.
A Mr. Barry McCain-A veteran w PTSD issues, perpetual candidate McCain (yes, he’s related) is one of AZ’s most vocal progressive activists and strong supporter on cannabis issues.
? Ms. Marcela Quiroz
State House District 12 (R)
B- Rep. Travis Grantham-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE An urban moderate conservative, Grantham has grown to to a supporter on defelonization, hemp and testing.
D+ Rep. Warren Petersen-DECRIMINALIZE Though Petersen has claimed to support cannabis reform, his record hasn’t shown it.
? Mr. Nick Myers
? Mr. Blake Sacha
State House District 12 (D)
? Mr. Joe Bisaccia
A Mr. D.J. Rothans -A returning candidate, Rothans was an avid supporter of 2016’s Prop205.
? Ms. Lynsey Robinson
State House District 13 (D)
? Mr. Thomas Tzitzura
State House District 13 (R)
C Rep. Timothy Dunn-MEDICAL USE-New to legislature, no clear track record so far.
? Mr. Trey Terry
C Rep. Darin Mitchell-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE Though a staunch conservative otherwise, Mitchell supports limited reform, especially on defelonization.
? Ms. Joanne Osborne
State House District 14 (R)
D Rep. Becky Nutt-MANDATORY MINIMUMSJAIL TIME FOR POSSESSIONNO MEDICAL USE Worked against reforms in committees and on the floor.
D- Rep. Gail Griffin-NO MEDICAL USE Staunch opponent.
State House District 14 (D)
? Mr. Bob Karp
? Ms. Shelley Renne-Leon
State House District 15 (R)
D+ Rep. John Allen Needs to be reeducated due to beliefs rooted in propaganda.
D Rep. Nancy Barto Needs to be reeducated due to beliefs rooted in propaganda. Blocked key reform votes and promoted misinformation during opioid discussions.
State House District 15 (D)
B Ms. Tonya K. MacBeth-A previous candidate, MacBeth supported Prop205.
? Ms. Julie Gunnigle
? Ms. Jennifer Samuels
State House District 16 (D)
C Ms. Sharon Stinard-Another repeat candidate, Stinard has avoided taking cannabis positions.
State House District 16 (R)
? Mr. John Fillmore
? Mr. Stephen Kridler
F Kelly Townsend-MANDATORY MINIMUMS, JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION, NO MEDICAL USE A leading source of misinformation and opposition, Townsend is the bitterest prohibitionist at the capitol.
? Ms. Lisa Godzich
? Ms. Bonnie Hickman
? Ms. Tara Phelps
State House District 17 (D)
B Ms. Jennifer Pawlik-Like Steve Weichert, a returning candidate for LD17 Senate, Pawlik has a track record of challenging the GOP incumbents on a variety of issues … but avoiding this one.
State House District 17 (R)
C Rep. Jeff Weninger
? Ms. Nora Ellen
? Ms. Julie Willoughby
State House District 18 (R)
C Rep. Jill Norgaard-Voted well on the testing and hemp bills but still a cypher overall.
? Ms. Farhana Shifa
? Mr. Donald Hawker
? Mr. Greg Patterson
State House District 18 (D)
B- Rep. Mitzi Epstein-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE While Epstein has spoken in favor of cannabis reform bills, she is less active than several of her allies in the House.
? Ms. Jennifer Jermaine
? Ms. LaDawn Stuben
State House District 19 (D)
A Rep. Diego Espinoza-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE- Seat mate of the former leading House cannabis champion, Mark Cardenas, Espinosa has backed and filed pro-reform bills. He writes, “Not very familiar with cannabis personally – Strongly OPPOSES federal government policy – Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ Program – WILL advocate for reducing AZ Criminal Penalties if elected – Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization.”
B Mr. Devin Del Palacio-A young progressive activist and first-time candidate, Del Palacio is on the right side of the issues, but hasn’t developed a track record yet.
? Mr. Lorenzo Sierra
State House District 20 (R)
D- Rep. Anthony Kern NO MEDICAL USE During HR1820 (the testing bill) Kern used his speeches to belittle and insult cannabis medical patients. His votes on the bill aside, Kern needs educating.
? Ms. Shawnna L.M. Bolick
State House District 20 (D)
B- Mr. Christopher Gilfillan A second-time candidate, though claimed to support medical, Gilfillan avoided taking a stance on cannabis reform issues in his 2016 campaign.
? Mr. Dan Anderson
? Ms. Hazel Chandler
? Mr. Patrick Church
State House District 21 (R)
A+ Rep. Kevin Payne-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE The real deal, Payne was the driving force in the House behind the testing bill HR1820 and plans an aggressive reform agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
B- Rep. Tony Rivero-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A bit more supportive than most in his caucus, but still shy on leadership.
State House District 21 (D)
? Mr. Bradley Hughes
? Mr. Gilbert Romero
State House District 22 (D)
? Ms. Valerie Harris
? Ms. Teri Sarmiento
State House District 22 (R)
? Ms. Kellie Engen
? Mr. John Heep
C+ Rep. Ben Toma-DECRIMINALIZE Another mid-session replacement, Toma was attentive in meetings, but did not commit to reform positions. One of the few GOP candidates to reply to our survey, Toma writes: “VERY UNfamiliar with cannabis personally INDIFFERENT to federal government current policy INDIFFERENT to Arizona’s MMJ program WILL advocate for reducing AZ criminal penalties if elected Slightly OPPOSES state and federal legalization/decriminalization.”
? Mr. Matt Bullock
? Mr. Frank Carroll
State House District 23 (R)
C+ Rep. Jay Lawrence-MEDICAL USE ONLY A former hardcore prohibitionist RW talk show host, Lawrence has evolved some. In 2016, Lawrence backed off pushing a bill that would have disqualified pregnant women from receiving medical cards. Presented w info, he changed his position. Let’s hope the trend continues.
F Sen. John Kavanagh-MANDATORY MINIMUMS JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION NO MEDICAL USE A former Manhattan cop, this guy is AZ’s most colorful and most dogged prohibitionist.
State House District 23 (D)
? Mr. Eric Kurland
State House District 24 (R)
? Mr. David Alger
State House District 24 (D)
A+ Mr. Marcus Ferrell-AZ’s bluest district, this packed primary race should guarantee strong reform leadership among the Dems. A top-level campaign consultant, among his other high-profile races, Ferrell served as national minority outreach coordinator for the 2016 Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Through the campaigns of others, Ferrell already has a track record as a cannabis reformer and has continued that reformer spirit in his own campaign. Potentially our strongest and most resourceful new ally if he gets the seat.
? Ms. Denise Link
? Ms. Jennifer Longdon
? Dr. Amish Shah
A Rep. Ken Clark LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A leader in the minority caucus, Clark has supported cannabis issues and worked w the industry for several years. Clark writes, “VERY familiar with cannabis personally Strongly OPPOSES federal government current policy Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ program WILL advocate for reducing AZ criminal penalties if elected Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization Additional Remarks: I have a track record of supporting legislation and running amendments that support safer, more accessible cannabis for adults.”
? Mr. Fred Dominguez
A- Mr. John Glenn-Another professional campaigner, Glenn has shaped pro-reform candidate positions for others. Let’s see what he can do on his own.
State House District 25 (D)
? Mr. Johnny Martin
State House District 25 (R)
D+ Rep. Russell Bowers-RW ideologue, Bowers did work to advance HR1820, but consistently disparaged the program and patients.
C- Rep. Michelle Udall-MEDICAL USE ONLY The only discernible difference in position between these two is Udall’s comparative lack of sarcasm.
? Ms. Marlene Hinton
State House District 26 (R)
? Mr. Raymond D. Speakman
State House District 26 (D)
A- Rep. Isela Blanc-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A fiery supporter, Blanc took leadership on several of last session’s pro-reform bills.
A Rep. Athena Salman-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE. DECRIMINALIZE This is another deep blue district with strong support for cannabis reform. Working w LD26 Senator Juan Mendez, Salman has taken a vocal stance for cannabis reform.
State House District 27 (D)
B- Rep. Reginald Bolding-MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A school teacher turned political reformer, Bolding has been bold on a wide variety of issues, but not cannabis. He has signaled an increased interest in the issue over the years.
? Ms. Tolonya Adams
A Mr. Diego Rodriguez-One of 2016’s most visible cannabis reform candidates, a former prosecutor, Rodriguez took on notorious Maricopa County attorney, Bill Montgomery, and has maintained his strong call for cannabis reform as a legislative candidate.
? Mr. Roberto Sanchez Garcia
State House District 28 (D)
B+ Rep. Kelli Butler-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A former party leader, Butler is a powerhouse in the House and a supporter on reform.
? Mr. Aaron Lieberman
State House District 28 (R)
D Rep. Maria Syms-MEDICAL USE ONLY During the 2018 session Rep Syms was a continuous purveyor of misinformation. Needs to be reeducated on marijuana facts, has propaganda stances.
? Ms. Kathy Pappas Petsas
State House District 29 (D)
A Rep. Richard Andrade-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE A hard worker for this issue, Andrade worked on positive bills and frequently met w the industry. Andrade writes, “VERY familiar with cannabis personally Strongly OPPOSES federal government policy Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ program WILL advocate for reducing AZ criminal penalties if elected Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization Additional Remarks: We must ensure the Cannabis industry is protected and able to expand without undue regulations.”
A- Rep. Cesar Chavez-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE While somewhat less active on the issue than his seat mate, Andrade, Chavez has taken multiple meetings on reform bills and voted favorably. He writes, “VERY familiar with cannabis personally – Strongly OPPOSES federal government policy – Strongly SUPPORTS Arizona’s MMJ Program – WILL advocate for reducing AZ Criminal Penalties if elected – Strongly SUPPORTS state and federal legalization/decriminalization.”
State House District 30 (R)
? Mr. Gary Spears
State House District 30 (D)
? Bill Brotherton
? Mr. Alejandro Larios
B Sen. Robert Meza-LEGALIZE, TAX AND REGULATE, MEDICAL USE, DECRIMINALIZE While sending positive signs on the issue former Senator Meza interacted very little w reformers while in the Senate.
B Ms. Raquel Teran-A Democratic party leader, Teran’s strong progressive record and campaign material do not appear to address cannabis reform directly.
–Mikel Weisser is the state director of AZ-NORML