Rejected Cannabis Ballot Initiative in Arkansas Taken to Supreme Court

Voting initiative submitted by Responsible Growth ArkansasOn August 4, the group filed a lawsuit in the state’s Supreme Court to challenge the decision.

As of July 29, Arkansas Responsible Growth has provided at least the 90,000 valid signatures required to qualify for the vote (the group provided more than it needed). However, after the commissioners reviewed the submission, they argued that the title of the ballot did not fully explain the amendment’s description to voters, and that the current wording would change Arkansas’ current THC edible restrictions. The proposed problem is:Amendments permitting the possession, personal use, and consumption of cannabis by adults, permitting the cultivation and sale of cannabis by licensed commercial establishments, and establishing regulations for those establishmentsIf passed, it would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis and allow state-licensed dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis.

Commissioner J. Harmon Smith focused on limiting THC in edible foods. “If I were a voter, I might agree with this, but I would like to abide by that food restriction.” Smith said.

Growing Responsibly Arkansas attorney Steven Lancaster explained that this is an unreasonable demand. “The kind of detail the board expected or required in this case would lengthen the title of our ballot by thousands of words.” Lancaster said“It simply cannot be used for voting.”

Following the denial, the group filed a lawsuit to appeal the decision “to challenge the initiative of the State Election Commission in obstructing the will of the people and the right to adopt the law,” it said. The filing says. I know“The Board has attacked its heart by falsely denying the ballot title.” The filing includes a complaint against Secretary of State and Commission Chairman John Thurston. certify that the initiative has received sufficient signatures You can vote on August 2nd.

The filing argues that if the popular name and voting title are “non-misleading,” Thurston must prove the popular name and voting title. It is legally sufficient under this Court’s precedent to give voters a fair summary of the proposed amendments that fairly understand the scope and significance of the changes to the law.” filing continues“Nothing has been omitted that would give voters serious grounds for remorse, and there is nothing misleading in the common names or ballot titles. I made the mistake of refusing.”

Ultimately, the lawsuit argues the veto is unconstitutional and seeks a preliminary injunction from the Supreme Court to include the voting initiative. Participate in the November 2022 ballot. ”

Just before the initiative was rejected by the commissioner, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke at the Arkansas City Police Association on Aug. 3 to speak out against the recreational cannabis initiative. use of marijuana Hutchinson said“I think marijuana is a harmful drug. and Alaska reversed course and re-criminalized marijuana.”

Hutchinson claimed that cannabis was “harmful.” “Now they are going to sell this as something to help law enforcement. 15% of the revenue from the tax on the sale of marijuana goes to a fund that helps law enforcement subsidies, and 10% goes to Little Rock. To his UAMS, 5% goes to drug court.” Hutchinson continued“And yet again they are selling harmful drugs to Arkansas citizens on the basis of good-looking promises. I think we need to be prepared.”

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