Arkansas to have marijuana debate on the November ballot

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More states are going to give their residents a chance to decide on cannabis legalization

The November ballots seem to bring big surprises for many states across the country and Arkansas is no exception. Last Thursday, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that votes on a cannabis legalization initiative on the soon-to-arrive ballot will be considered after all. While the Board of Election Commissioners indicated that the ballot title is misleading, a 5-2 opinion gave the justices the power to overturn that decision.

Although a legal challenge filed by the legalization campaign was evidenced last month, the court said the measure would appear on the ballot. However, it was unclear whether the votes would be counted. That picture has now finally been clarified by the Arkansas Supreme Court late last week.

Several election officials appeared to take issue with this initiative as they expressed concerns about potential voter confusion regarding the ballot title language. Issues such as THC limits, according to these officials, were unclear, but the court, at the end of the day, did not take the same position.

The majority opinion notes that the “initiative power lies at the heart of our democratic institutions,” concluding that “the people will decide whether to approve the proposed amendment in November.” The court is clear that it is impossible to prepare a title that suits everyone. Given those standards, the conclusion is that the ballot language is comprehensive enough to share a tangible idea and the importance of what is being proposed at the voters’ table.

A recent poll found that nearly 60% of likely voters support the legalization ballot measure. With that in mind, it is possible to see very positive results for the proposal later this year.