Arkansas Police Chief Forms Group Opposing Cannabis Legalization

A police chief in Arkansas has formed a group to oppose the state’s upcoming cannabis legalization ballot initiative, focusing his argument on drug dogs becoming “useless” if the measure is successful.

Full story after the jump.

The police chief of Fairfield Bay, Arkansas has formed a committee to oppose the legalization of cannabis in the state, the Arkansas Times reports. In the filing to form Save Arkansas from Epidemic, David Burnett and attorney AJ Kelly said the committee’s purpose is to “oppose the 2022 proposal to amend the Arkansas constitution, which would ‘legalize’ under state law the ‘recreational use’ of marijuana. Committee opposes legalization of recreational marijuana.” 

The group also filed a motion with the state Supreme Court to intervene in the case to decide whether the votes on the legalization initiative will be counted. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court gave conditional approval for the question to appear on midterm ballots after the state Board of Election Commissioners rejected the proposal’s language which would have kept it off of ballots despite it getting enough citizen support. The Supreme Court, however, did not decide whether or not the votes would actually be counted.    

In the motion, Save Arkansas from Epidemic said that it seeks to “protect the interests and rights of Arkansans who oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.” The filing includes comments from Smart Approaches to Marijuana founder Kevin Sabet along with Burnett.  

In the filing, Burnett focuses his argument on law enforcement “drug dogs” which he argues would be “rendered useless” were cannabis legalized broadly, according to the Times report.

In a response, Responsible Growth urged the court not to allow the newly-formed group to intervene in the case, arguing that its submission “comes too late in this expedited proceeding without explanation, poses prejudice to petitioners by interjecting new issues when time is running short and is unnecessary because respondents adequately represent intervenors’ interests.” 

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