Arkansas Supreme Court rules voters can decide whether to legalize marijuana

Arkansas Supreme Court rules voters can decide whether to legalize marijuana

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that voters can decide whether to legalize recreational cannabis or not, overturning a decision by the Board of Election Commissioners that had banned a proposed amendment from reaching the November ballot, reported the Associated Press.

The court said that the ballot title has been given a liberal construction and interpretation in order to secure the purpose of reserving to the people the power. We know that it is impossible to prepare a ballot title that would suit everyone. With these standards in mind, we conclude that the ballot title at issue is complete enough to convey an intelligible idea of the scope and import of the proposed amendment. After securing more than enough valid signatures, the proposed initiative to legalize recreational marijuana was turned down by the State Board of Election Commissioners in early August.

The ballot title was not clear as to its impact, with the main issue being the level of THC in cannabis edibles.

Asa Hutchinson, Governor, encouraged law enforcement to stand firm against marijuana legalization, saying that Marijuana is a harmful drug. Responsible Growth Arkansas, the organization behind the ballot initiative, took the issue to court to fight for the will of the people who signed the petition.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered the secretary of state to clarify the number of petitions it received for the proposed amendment that would legalize adult-use cannabis. The question was already printed on the ballot, but it was up to the court to decide if the vote would go forward in November.

Despite the strong opposition from the state's governor and conservative officials who try to convince voters to say 'NO' to the legalization of cannabis, support among Arkansans continues to grow.

A recent poll showed that 59% of Arkansas voters support the ballot measure, with only 29% opposing it.

If voters approve the initiative this fall, Arkansas will legalize the possession, personal use and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older, as well as the cultivation and sale of licensed commercial establishments.

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