Legalizing marijuana to fund education? That’s the gist of a proposal some education advocates stumped for Wednesday at the State Capitol. J-P Holyoak, Chairman of the “Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” says it’s a fact Arizona’s schools are money starved and the war on drugs

has failed. As he puts it, “ we can either tax and regulate marijuana for the benefit of education and public health care, or we can keep it illegal for the benefit of drug cartels.”

Holyoak says taxing pot like booze could help the state pull in at least 40-million dollars for education and health care a year. Teacher Lisa Olson chimes in, that amounts to two textbooks per child.

If the group has its way, Arizona voters will decide the issue on the 2016 ballot. But first, the State Legislature must O.K. the mechanism: the ballot measure itself for voters to act on. And the Republican-led body has its share of ultra conservatives for which this issue may be a tough sell for.

–Barbara Villa