Campaign submits signatures to put adult-use legalization measure on the November ballot
In early July, petitioners with Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted nearly 200,000 signatures in support of a 2022 ballot petition to legalize cannabis for adults to the Arkansas Sec. of State. If officials certify that enough valid signatures were collected, the measure will appear on the statewide general election ballot later this year.
If approved by voters, the initiative will amend Arkansas’ Constitution to legalize small amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older and regulate the market for cannabis producers and dispensaries. A portion of the tax revenue from a 10% cannabis sales would go to public safety and medical research, while taxes on medical cannabis would be eliminated.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, strongly opposes legalizing cannabis. Recent polling shows the governor’s view is out of step with what most Arkansans think about the issue.
Medical cannabis in Arkansas
In 2016 voters approved Amendment 98, a ballot initiative legalized medical cannabis in Arkansas. The legislature amended the voter-approved law in 2017. The first medical cannabis dispensary in the state did not open until 2019. Since then nearly 100,000 patients have registered with the medical cannabis program, with dozens of dispensaries operating across the state.
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A new poll by Starboard Communications found 72% of South Carolina voters support allowing medical cannabis and only 15% are opposed! But because South Carolina doesn’t have a citizens’ initiative process, the only way to translate that overwhelming support into law is for the state legislature to act.