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Arkansas Officials Strike Down Adult-Use Cannabis Ballot Initiative

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Arkansas voters will not be able to make their voices heard on adult-use cannabis legalization this year after the state Board of Election Commissioners struck down an adult-use ballot initiative this week.

The commissioners rejected the proposed constitutional amendment’s popular name and ballot title Aug. 3, blocking the measure from appearing on the November ballot, according to the Associated Press.

Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted more than 190,000 signatures—more than double the 89,151 signatures required—to the secretary of state’s office last month to get the adult-use cannabis legalization measure before voters this fall.

RELATED: Arkansas Voters Likely to Decide Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization in November

Officials announced July 29 that the group met the signature requirement, and the Board of Election Commissioners was tasked with approving the proposal’s popular name and ballot title to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The board rejected the measure after commissioners indicated that they didn’t believe the ballot title fully explained to voters the impact of the constitutional amendment, AP reported. Commissioners were concerned, for example, that the amendment would repeal Arkansas’ THC limit in medical cannabis products, which was set in the state's 2016 medical cannabis law.

RELATED: Voters in These 9 States Could Decide Cannabis Fate in 2022

Steve Lancaster, an attorney for Responsible Growth Arkansas, told AP that the board’s assessment was unfair and would require the ballot title to go into an excessive 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,” Lancaster said. “That just simply is not workable for a ballot.”

Lancaster told AP that the Responsible Growth Arkansas will appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.


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