Arkansas Supreme Court Approves Cannabis Legalization Question for November

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last week to allow the state’s adult-use cannabis legalization question to appear on November ballots.

Full story after the jump.

The Arkansas Supreme Court last week ruled the state’s adult-use cannabis ballot initiative can appear on November ballots, the Associated Press reports. The ruling came after Responsible Growth Arkansas asked the court to reverse an August decision by the state Board of Election Commissioners that said the measure could not appear before voters in November because of a title language technicality, despite the group having collected more than enough signatures. 

“The people will decide whether to approve the proposed amendment in November,” Justice Robin Wynne wrote in the court’s ruling.

The court had allowed the initiative language to go forward in August while it decided the case. In the meantime, state Attorney General John Thurston, who chairs the Board of Election Commissioners, agreed with the Board and said the initiative could not be considered in November. 

“We’re extremely grateful to the Supreme Court that they agreed with us and felt like it was a complete validation of everything we’ve done,” Steve Lancaster, an attorney for Responsible Growth Arkansas, told the AP. “We’re excited and moving on to November.”

Arkansas passed a medical cannabis constitutional amendment in 2016. If approved, the adult-use law would allow Arkansans aged 21 and older to purchase up to an ounce at regulated dispensaries.

The court also struck down the 2019 law that gave the Board of Election Commissioners the authority to approve ballot measure language. That task now falls to the state attorney general, the report notes.

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