Will Arkansas End Marijuana Prohibition This Year?


Arkansas officials have officially confirmed that a proposed constitutional amendment on marijuana legalization has enough signatures to make it onto the November ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would legalize cannabis use and possession for those 21 or older while also allowing the state to regulate and tax marijuana sales.

Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted about 193,000 signatures—more than double what is required to qualify the constitutional amendment—earlier this month. Moreover, on Friday, the secretary of state's office said that it had processed enough petitions to confirm that there are sufficient signatures for ballot placement.


Arkansas officials say the marijuana legalization initiative has enough signatures for November Ballot.

Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted about 193,000 signatures—more than double what is required to qualify the constitutional amendment—earlier this month. Moreover, on Friday, the secretary of state's office said that it had processed enough petitions to confirm that there are sufficient signatures for ballot placement.


To officially make the ballot, however, the state Board of Election Commissioners must still approve the popular name and ballot title of the measure. The board is planning a scheduled meeting on Wednesday to make that decision, but activists are confident that they have crafted language that will be satisfactory.


It is still not official, but the measure is in good shape.


Arkansas voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana this November after regulators cleared an initiative for the ballot. The state Board of Election Commissioners approved on Thursday after reviewing more than 60,000 signatures submitted by Arkansans for Responsible Medicine (ARMed).


The ballot measure would allow residents 21 and older to grow up to six plants at home and possess up to 36 ounces of weed, edibles, and drinkables infused with cannabis extracts. It also includes a provision that would let people convicted of possessing small amounts of the pot before the law takes effect petition courts for early release from prison or parole violations based on their prior convictions.

The Arkansas Supreme Court must still approve the popular name and ballot title; both were sent back by commissioners this week because they did not meet legal requirements.


Officials said marijuana legalization has enough signatures to make it on Arkansas' November ballot.


Arkansas officials have verified that activists used valid signatures to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the state's November ballot. The secretary of state's office said it had processed enough petitions to confirm sufficient signatures for ballot placement.


The proposed constitutional amendment would allow people 21 and older to use, possess, and cultivate limited amounts of cannabis and related paraphernalia. It also allows cities, villages, and counties to regulate or prohibit cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions but not based on race, color, or national origin.


It is one of several measures seeking to legalize some form of marijuana in Arkansas this year; others seek legalization for medical purposes only or full recreational use by adults age 21 or older with no legal residency requirement.


Conclusion


The state's attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, is expected to challenge the ballot measure in court. However, suppose it manages to pass legal muster and make it onto the November ballot. In that case, marijuana legalization could be adopted into Arkansas law by voters simultaneously as they decide what happens in an up-for-grabs U.S. Senate seat.