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Arizona Electricity Utility Donates To Anti-Marijuana Legalization Group

Arizona Public Service, one of the state’s major employers, is defending its contribution to an anti-marijuana legalization group.

The electric utility’s parent company recently donated $10,000 to Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy. It’s a political committee vice-chaired by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk and opposed to the initiative seeking to legalize recreational marijuana.

Jim McDonald with APS says the company is concerned about the employment law language in the ballot proposal "especially considering the public safety aspects involved in providing reliable electric service to APS customers."

McDonald said no customer money was involved in this political contribution, but rather "shareholder funds."

Ballot language for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, reads “[it] does not affect the ability of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana and marijuana products by employees.”  

A spokesperson for the initiative said they plan to turn in verification signatures to the secretary of state soon.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.