Supporters gathered only about 75,000 signatures.

PHOENIX — Arizonans aren’t going to get a chance to decide whether they want to legalize recreational use of marijuana, at least not this year.

David Wisniewski, chairman of Safer Arizona, revealed Thursday he and other volunteers had been able to gather only about 75,000 signatures on petitions that would have removed all criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana and made things like selling to a minor a civil fine.

He needed 150,642 signatures by Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline to put the measure on the November ballot.

Wisniewski told Capitol Media Services the campaign may have been doomed from the start, what with no money from those that might have an interest in legal marijuana, like owners of existing medical marijuana dispensaries. That’s because his initiative would have ended the monopoly these dispensaries now have and allowed any retailer to sell marijuana to adults.

He said any future proposals to legalize the drug are likely going to need the cooperation of — and financing from — dispensary owners.

On Twitter: @azcapmedia