The Arkansas Supreme Court said this week that the marijuana legalization proposal should be put back on state ballots, but it remains unclear whether the vote will ultimately mean anything.
This is the latest twist in what has become a nasty controversy over the campaign to end Prohibition in the state. Arkansas advocacy group Responsible Growth Arkansas appealed to the state Supreme Court after the Arkansas election commission rejected the group’s bid to put a proposed constitutional amendment to a vote earlier this month. did.
Arkansas Responsible Growth organizers submitted nearly 90,000 valid signatures. This goes far beyond the criteria for being eligible to vote. of revision According to Associated Press.
“For example, the commissioner said he was concerned that this amendment would eliminate the state’s current restrictions under the Medical Marijuana Amendment on the amount of THC allowed in edible marijuana products,” the Associated Press reported. reported.
Responsible Growth Arkansas opposed the board’s decision, arguing that the commissioner was seeking an unreasonable amount of information.
Arkansas responsible growth attorney Steve Lancaster said after the board vote: As quoted by the Associated Press“It simply cannot be used for voting.”
On Wednesday, the state superior court upheld the group, but uncertainty remains high.
According to local TV station KARK, “The Arkansas Supreme Court has directed Secretary of State John Thurston to certify the ballot title. [recreational] This would allow “voters to vote for or against expanding access to marijuana in their state.”
But the station I got it“It is not yet known whether the general election votes will be counted.”
Kirk explains: “At issue is the deadline for items to appear on the November ballot. The proposed Arkansas constitutional amendment must be approved by the Secretary of State by August 25. But the Supreme Court’s schedule does not allow it to hear a case filed by the Responsible Growth Arkansas, a group working to put recreational marijuana on the ballot, until September.”
“What that means is that we will be on the ballot. You will see the Arkansas Responsible Growth Act on the ballot. You will be able to vote,” Lancaster said on local broadcast. As quoted by the station, he said. 4029 News“But what happens in the meantime is that if the Supreme Court makes a decision and they agree that our vote title is good, then the vote counts. If they decide our voting titles aren’t good enough, they never count those votes.”
“If the courts consider this, I am confident they will agree that our ballot title is fine,” Lancaster continued. “So I am confident again…votes will be counted in November.”
Arkansas voters narrowly approved a 2016 ballot proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
A poll earlier this year found that a small majority (53%) of Arkansas voters believe recreational marijuana should be legal for adults over the age of 21, and 32% believe it should be legal for medical purposes. only should be legalized.
Only about 10% of those surveyed said cannabis should remain widely illegal.