Editorial: Do-overs and Mulligans define political process in Arizona

Depending upon the preponderance of gray hair on your head, you can probably remember a time when voting on a matter was the way issues were resolved.

Once and for all.

“We’re going to vote on it and no matter how the vote comes out, we’re going to honor the decision.”

As in live with it.

We don’t do that anymore. We’re a society of do-overs and Mulligans … the best two out of three.

In Arizona, we first saw this pattern develop on state-wide elections to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. The voters would approve it only to see legislative and judicial bodies find a way to void the election results. The voice of the voters did not matter. Lawmakers, judges and voters played ping pong with the issue until eventually it was approved and signed into law.

Next came the full legalization of marijuana, which was rejected by voters in November. Interestingly, the same pro-marijuana advocates who protested so loud and long about the voters’ decision being rejected on medical marijuana say they will be back as early as 2018 with another ballot measure to legalize pot. They didn’t think the medical marijuana Mulligans represented fair play, but they still believe they should get a couple of do-overs for full legalization.

The same holds true for Arizona’s new minimum wage law. It was approved by voters in November. Now, a month later, the new speaker of the Arizona House is dropping hints that a legal challenge to this voter-approved measure will surface, and he believes rightly so.

So, just like the case with medical marijuana, the will of the voters does not carry the weight it did in years past.

When voters originally approved medical marijuana, they had to repeat the process twice more before it finally became law. Now, it looks like we’ll have to vote on full legalization several times before the pro-marijuana crowd gets its way. The same holds true for the increase in Arizona’s minimum wage law. Yea, it was approved in November, but that’s no guarantee it will stick.

In Arizona, public policy is established in much the same manner bad golfers get through a round.

Do-overs and Mulligans.

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