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Marijuana Legalization Has Signatures To Make Arkansas Ballot

Supporters of a marijuana legalization initiative have turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot

Cannabis Life Network

Supporters of an adult-use marijuana legalization initiative have enough valid signatures, Arkansas election officials said Friday. This moves the measure closer to appearing on Arkansas’ ballot in November, reports the AP.

The Arkansas secretary of state’s office said the proposed constitutional amendment has at least 89,151 valid signatures from registered voters. The proposal’s popular name and ballot title still need approval by the state Board of Election Commissioners.

The board will review the measure’s name and title on Wednesday.

Responsible Growth Arkansas Submitted Almost 193K Signatures

Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted more than 192,000 signatures July 8 to allow adults an ounce of weed. Arkansans in 2016 voted to legalize medical Cannabis in the state.

The secretary of state’s office doesn’t yet have a final count on the number of valid signatures, reports Marijuana Moment. The required count to qualify is 89,151 signatures, reports Cannabis Business Times.

Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted almost 193,000 signatures earlier this month. That’s more than double the amount required to qualify. On Friday, the secretary of state’s office confirmed it’s processed enough petitions to confirm sufficient signatures for ballot placement.

“This Is A Good Day For Us”

“We’re extremely excited and grateful to the secretary of state’s office for the time that they put in counting and verifying the signatures,” said Steve Lancaster of Responsible Growth.

“We recognize there are more [hurdles] that are out there, but we’re ready to face them and get to November to hopefully let the people decide.” Lancaster said.

“This is a good day for us, so we’re going to enjoy the day and then get ready to move forward,” Lancaster said, reports the Fort Smith Times Record.

Ballot Title, Name Subject To Challenge

There’s a possibility that someone could challenge the state’s signature verification. That would trigger a second review. At this point, officials have validated about 90,000 signatures for the initiative. So there are still tens of thousands of additional petitions available for verification in the event of a challenge.

Lancaster said activists are confident they have crafted language satisfactory to the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners. Still, though, if the board contests the language as misleading, activists will likely find themselves defending it in the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“Our strong preference and belief is that the right thing would be that the board approve our ballot title and that there not be a challenge,” he said. “But realistically, we do see that it’s likely that we’ll end, up one way or the other, in front of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Again, we feel confident in ballot title and popular name.”

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