A recreational marijuana initiative's advocates have petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court to urge Election Officials to place their proposal on the ballot in November.
Activists in Arkansas launched a lawsuit against the state's highest court on Thursday in an effort to get their proposed legalization measure on the ballot. A day after the state Board of Election Commissioners determined that the ballot title and popular name of the proposal are deceptive, legal action was taken.
The measure qualified for the ballot last week after the secretary of state confirmed that Responsible Growth Arkansas had gathered enough legitimate signatures from registered voters.
The current complaint filed claims the board of election commissioners, whose members had voiced worries about potential voter misunderstanding over language pertaining to topics like THC restrictions.
In addition, the campaign submitted a petition for the lawsuit's expedited review since ballots must be produced in front of the November election, which is just three months away. The secretary of state has until August 25 to certify ballot amendments to county officials.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, predicted earlier this week that the proposal will undoubtedly come before voters and urged law enforcement to support the opposition effort.
Activists assert that they are confident that voters will pass the measure this November if they are successful in getting it qualified by the courts. This is especially true given that the campaign was able to collect more than twice the number of signatures necessary to get the measure on the ballot.
Medical Marijuana in Arkansas
By approving the Medical Marijuana Amendment initiative on November 8, 2016, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission became a reality.
A majority of 53.2 percent of voters approved of allowing individuals with certain qualifying medical conditions to consume marijuana for medicinal purposes, which led to the passage of the Arkansas medical cannabis legislation.
After the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) certified the amendment, patients who had already received their Arkansas marijuana cards were authorized to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of medicinal cannabis, which was renewable every 14 days.
Patients would not, under normal circumstances, exceed the initial state-imposed limit for their treatment, as per the requirements of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act.
Since June 2017, the state's medical marijuana program has been actively linked with the ADH, providing a web form through the Arkansas Medical Marijuana System (AMMYS) for patients across the state.