Arkansas’ Secretary of State John Thurston has declared the state’s proposed ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis is “insufficient” to appear before voters this November, KPVI reports. Thurston’s declaration argues the proposed Constitutional amendment is not valid because the State Board of Election Commissioners (SBEC) failed to certify the popular name and ballot title for the measure and, per Arkansas Code Annotated 7-9-111, if SBEC does not certify the measure’s title, he must rule it insufficient, the report says.
The SBEC rejected the initiative’s title and popular name in early August but activists pushed back, filing an appeal with the state Supreme Court. Attorney Steve Lancaster — who represents the group behind the measure, Responsible Growth Arkansas — said the board’s request would make the title too long.
“The type of detail that the board expected, or demanded in this case, would make our ballot title thousands and thousands of words long. That just simply is not workable for a ballot.” — Lancaster via the Associated Press
A week later, the Court gave conditional approval for the measure to appear on the November ballot while it looked into the SBEC’s denial but did not rule whether or not the vote would actually matter. On September 13, the Court issued a writ of mandamus requiring the secretary of state to decide the sufficiency of the measure, Arkansas Online reports. The secretary of state was ordered to file proof of the decision by Wednesday, September 14, the report said.
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