Arkansas panel rejects recreational marijuana ballot

By ANDREW DeMILLO – Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — The state election commission on Wednesday removed a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana from Arkansas’ ballot this fall.

The committee rejected the common name and ballot title of the constitutional amendment that supporters wanted to put on the ballot in November.supporter submitted Although there were a sufficient number of valid signatures from registered voters to qualify, the proposal had to be approved by the Board of Directors for it to appear on the ballot.

Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. The proposed amendment would allow people over the age of 21 to own up to 1 ounce of cannabis and allow state-licensed dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana.

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Attorneys for Responsible Growth Arkansas, the group that backs the proposal, said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The commission rejected the bill after the commissioner said he didn’t believe the ballot title fully explained the impact of the amendments to voters. For example, the Commissioner said he was concerned that the proposed amendment would eliminate current restrictions in states under the Medical Marijuana Amendment on the amount of THC allowed in edible marijuana products.

“If I were a voter, I might be for all this, but I want to stick to that food restriction,” said Commissioner J. Harmon Smith.

Responsible growth Arkansas attorney Steve Lancaster said the board’s criticism was unjustified because the ballot title would be unwieldy and detailed.

Steve Lancaster told reporters after the vote, “The kind of detail the board expected or demanded would make the title of the ballot thousands of words longer.

Recreational marijuana has already been legalized in 19 states, with legalization proposals on ballots this fall. south dakota When MarylandSupporters in Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma are also looking to put legislation on the ballot.

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former director of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, opposed the proposal. Republican candidate Sarah Sanders has not disclosed her position on the issue. Hutchinson has a limited term in office and he is not seeking re-election in November.

The board also rejected a 2018 voter-approved proposal to scale back the casino gambling measures by removing one of the four counties where casinos are allowed.

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Arkansas panel rejects recreational marijuana ballot

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