Know more about this politician's position on marijuana? Tell us!
Bob Karp (D - AZ)
Easily the longest early response thus far came from Karp after a round of round 2 phone tag: “I think you’re looking for a simple answer to a complex question. The answer you’re looking for is that I support complete decriminalization of cannabis. Sorry I’m not there yet there on this for many reasons:
1. Without federal action this leads to a variety of state laws that may or may not create more problems than they solve. My concern is that there even in states such as California and Colorado, legitimate sellers and growers still do not have proper access to the banking system. Too much cash flowing through the industry allows for graft and corruption.
2. If one of the reasons for decriminalization is to get recreational users out of the black market, there is still a need to have states get real about tax policy. From what I have read, high state taxes have made licensed sellers non-competitive with the black market. So there is still an issue about how states tax and regulate.
3. I am in favor of medical marijuana use and, we of course have a problem here in Arizona regarding the sale of “edibles” (I’m not sure this is the right term) based on a recent course decision. This points out the problem of using the initiative process to write complicated law. This should be done by the legislature with hearings, etc.
4. I’m in a wait and see position on complete decriminalization in Arizona based on the above. Also I want to get another year or so of results from Colorado and particularly California on how this works. If we can get the federal government to decriminalize then I would take a serious look at getting Arizona law updated.
As a Dem in a lopsided red district, I want to empathize with the desire to sound as reasonable and reasoned as possible. And the former English teacher in me makes me want to applaud his effort and give him an … , well you know, but we’re grading folks on cannabis positions here, not essay structure and cogence of thought, so, B