New recreational marijuana ballot issue to be filed Wednesday

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There’s a renewed push to legalize marijuana in Arkansas.

A local group is filing two ballot petitions Wednesday so Arkansans could have the chance to vote on them come November of 2020.

Melissa Fults with Drug Policy Education Group plans to submit an amendment Wednesday to put legalizing recreational marijuana on the Arkansas ballot.

“Number one, it will create thousands of job,” Fults said.

Jobs and tax revenue — which Fults says their plan has 60 percent going toward Pre-K and after school programs and 40 percent going to supporting UAMS.

“If we can take the money from that to help these kids, oh my gosh, it’s beyond worth it,” Fults said.

Along with legalizing recreational marijuana, she’s submitting a second amendment to expunge criminal records that deal with less than a pound of pot.

“This is very important to me to be able to give these people their lives back,” Fults said.

“I think that’s ridiculous to offer such a proposal,” Jerry Cox with Family Council said.

Cox is not on board.

“Legalizing marijuana is not a way to fix the criminal justice system,” he said.

He says the economic and health promises are something we’ve seen before.

“This is nothing more than market expansion for a huge marijuana industry that’s not unlike the big tobacco industry,” Cox said.

Push back Fults is prepared for, as she fights to get these amendments on the 2020 ballot.

“We just want to make Arkansas fair,” she said.

Along with Drug Policy Education Group, another organization called Arkansas True Grass is trying to pass similar amendments, but instead of two, they’ve combined it into one.

“We feel that it would push better for the voters to have it to have it all in one thing,” Daniel Davis a ballot question committee member with Arkansas True Green said.

Both groups would also allow individuals to grow up to 6 marijuana plants.

If recreational marijuana gets on to the Nov. 2020 ballot and passes, Fults says in their proposal it would open all medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to adults 21 and older starting Dec. 4, 2020.

It would then give the ABC three months to approve additional dispensaries.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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