Arkansas Supreme Court Conditionally Allows Cannabis Legalization Question on Ballots

As part of an ongoing legal battle after Arkansas’ Board of Election Commissioners blocked a popular cannabis legalization initiative from November ballots, the state Supreme Court will conditionally allow the adult-use question to move forward.

Full story after the jump.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is allowing the adult cannabis use question on November ballots conditionally while it decides whether the state Board of Election Commissioners’ decision to reject the proposal was valid, 5News reports. In its order, the court said it would make its final determination by August 25. 

In rejecting the popular name and ballot title – which blocked the question from ballots despite the initiative garnering more than 100,000 signatures than was required – the commissioners said they didn’t think the title fully explained the proposed constitutional amendment, claiming that the measure would repeal the state’s current THC limit on medical cannabis products. 

In their lawsuit challenging the decision, Responsible Growth Arkansas argued the board used an “overly stringent” approach in their decision-making that violated the state constitution. The lawsuit also challenges a 2019 law that gives the board the power to certify ballot initiatives. Prior to the 2019 law, ballot measures had to be reviewed by the state attorney general prior to the circulation of petitions. The campaign also argues that the board’s decision was “incorrect” because it prevents “hundreds of thousands of Arkansans to have the opportunity to vote on the Amendment,” the report says.  

Responsible Growth Arkansas attorney Steve Lancaster previously said that the board’s decision was unfair because it would require the title to go into too much detail, saying “the type of detail that the board expected, or demanded in this case, would make [the] ballot title thousands and thousands of words long.”  

“That just simply is not workable for a ballot,” he said. 

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