Arkansas' Cannabis Battle: Supreme Court Orders State To Certify Legalization Initiative For Nov. Ballot

Arkansas' Cannabis Battle: Supreme Court Orders State To Certify Legalization Initiative For Nov. Ballot

The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered the secretary of state’s office to certify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot although it appears the votes might not be counted. That particular democratic procedure will depend on the final outcome of the most current legal challenge.

On Wednesday, Responsible Growth Arkansas, the group behind the ballot initiative to legalize cannabis were granted motions filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners that would compel the secretary of state’s office to certify the reform measure.

After having secured more than enough valid signatures, the proposed legalization initiative was turned down by the State Board of Election Commissioners last week. 

What Is The Dispute?

The commissioner had rejected the measure on the grounds that the ballot title was not clear enough in terms of the impact of the amendment, citing the level of THC allowed in edible marijuana products as the main issue. As such, the board of commissioners ruled that the wording in the legalization ballot was misleading on that score. 

In any case, this latest Supreme Court decision, reported first by Marijuana Moment, ensures that voters will indeed see the legalization measure on their ballots this coming November. However, if the court ultimately supports Arkansas state officials on the merits of the challenge following certification, the votes on the initiative will not be counted.

What Now?

The secretary of state needs to file a response to the petitioners’ original complaint by August 16 and petitioners have until August 23 to file a response, with a subsequent respondents’ brief due by August 30. The petitioner’s reply needs to be completed by September 2.

The preliminary action “was exactly what we asked for, and we were very pleased by the court’s rulings,” a spokesperson for Responsible Growth Arkansas told Marijuana Moment on Thursday.

Stay tuned as Arkansas struggles to work out this seemingly endless legal battle. 

Photo: Merriam-Webster dictionary

Posted In: Arkansas Supreme Courtcannabis initiativeResponsible Growth ArkansasCannabisNewsPoliticsMarketsGeneral


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