LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A decision Wednesday by Arkansas election officials has put a halt on plans to put a bill allowing the recreational use of marijuana on the November ballot.
The group Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted petition signatures in July to the Arkansas Secretary of State for a constitutional amendment to allow marijuana use in the state outside the current medical-only restrictions.
The State Board of Election Commissioners ruled Wednesday that the ballot title language did not include a limit on THC proportion, which commissioners argued would be confusing to voters.
Secretary of State John Thurston said last week that the petition had garnered the required number of signatures to move forward and sent the official signature count on Tuesday.
The next step of the amendment approval process was the ballot item being reviewed by the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners, which rejected the plan Wednesday.
The denial by the board does not mean that the amendment will not be on the ballot. Supporters of the measure can file a lawsuit, which would be directly heard by the state Supreme Court.
Steve Lancaster, RGA’s legal counsel, said the group is already working on a lawsuit.
“There’s always a challenge,” Lancaster. “It’s always going to get before the Arkansas Supreme Court. They’re going to decide this, so it’s not a surprise.”