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Arizona Lawmaker Backs Bill To Decriminalize Pot

A state representative has filed a bill to decriminalize marijuana in the wake of voters having rejected legalizing recreational pot.

Marijuana possession is currently a felony in Arizona. Rep. Mark Cardenas (Dem.) wants that to change.

Cardenas unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Legislature to legalize marijuana this year. Now he wants to decriminalize possession.

Under House Bill 2002, people caught with less than one ounce of pot would face a maximum fine of $100. Possessing less than two pounds would be a petty offense. And having more than two pounds would be a misdemeanor. 

Gov. Doug Ducey opposed legalizing recreational pot this year, as did the incoming Senate president and speaker of the House. 

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.