AP

Arkansas panel rejects recreational marijuana ballot measure

Aug 3, 2022, 2:42 PM | Updated: 4:34 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The State Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday blocked a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana from appearing on Arkansas’ ballot this fall.

The panel rejected the popular name and ballot title for the proposed constitutional amendment that supporters hoped to put on the November ballot. Supporters submitted more than enough valid signatures from registered voters to qualify, but the proposal still needed approval from by the board to appear on the ballot.

Arkansas voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. The proposed amendment would allow people age 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and would allow state-licensed dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana.

An attorney for Responsible Growth Arkansas, the group backing the proposal, said it would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The panel rejected the measure after commissioners said they didn’t believe the ballot title fully explained to voters the impact of the amendment. For example, commissioners said they were concerned that the amendment would repeal the state’s current limit under its medical marijuana amendment on how much THC is allowed in edible marijuana products.

“If I’m a voter I might be all for this but I’d like to safeguard that edible limit,” Commissioner J. Harmon Smith said.

Responsible Growth Arkansas attorney Steve Lancaster said the the board’s criticism was unfair because it would require the ballot title going into an unwieldy amount of detail.

“The type of detail that the board expected, or demanded in this case, would make our ballot title thousands and thousands of words long,” Steve Lancaster told reporters after the vote. “That just simply is not workable for a ballot.”

Recreational marijuana is already legal in 19 states, and legalization proposals are on the ballot this fall in South Dakota and Maryland. Supporters are also trying to get measures on the ballot in Missouri, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is a former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, opposed the proposal. Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Chris Jones said Wednesday that he supports the measure. Republican nominee Sarah Sanders has not said where she stands on the issue. Hutchinson is term-limited and not seeking reelection in November.

The board also rejected a proposal that would scale back a casino gambling measure voters approved in 2018 by removing one of the four counties where a casino is allowed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

1 day ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

6 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

7 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

9 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

13 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

Arkansas panel rejects recreational marijuana ballot measure