Voters have only two statewide propositions on the ballot in a year greatly affected by COVID-19. We make the following recommendations:
Proposition 207 — No
Arizona already has medical marijuana, but this expansion to legal recreational use seems likely to pass. However, it is worth saying that problems seen in other states are real, and the costs involved with this state endorsement of legal use have not been fully explored. Regulation of potency would be for edibles only. The roads no doubt would be more dangerous, use by children would increase and more people would suffer mental health problems.
Proposition 208 — No
Nearly everyone supports public education, but singling out the highest earners for a special tax is not a good idea. Arizona would have the ninth highest overall tax rate in the nation, and there would be economic costs, especially when some of those taxpayers actually are businesses that employ people. The fact that this measure would be tied closely to ups and downs in the economy means revenue from Prop. 208 likely would be treated as a bonus and not part of base pay. The state has been pushing teacher pay up substantially, and if there is a new tax for it, everyone should share in the cost, even if it is with a very small share.
Voters also will decide on retention of some judges, including those at the appellate level and some in Pinal County. A state commission has rated them all worthy of retention based on their performance, and we recommend that as well.