Arkansas AG Wades Into Court Fight Over Adult-Use Marijuana Ballot Measure

In a court filing this week, the state's top law enforcement officer called the initiative "misleading."

An ongoing court battle over a proposed ballot measure in Arkansas to legalize recreational marijuana has now corralled the state attorney general’s office into the case. In a court filing this week, the state’s top law enforcement officer called the initiative “misleading.”

The move is the latest twist in a legal fight over ballot access for adult-use cannabis proponents, who filed suit against state officials to get their initiative onto the November ballot after the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners initially rejected the proposal.

The campaign to legalize, Responsible Growth Arkansas, won a preliminary injunction from the state Supreme Court, which put the initiative onto the November ballot for now, until the lawsuit can be settled.

This led to the attorney general’s entrance this week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported, with a brief that supports the position by the Board of Election Commissioners.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge wrote in the brief that the recreational marijuana initiative’s ballot title is “misleading because it fails to inform voters that it will repeal the 10 milligram limit of THC per portion for edibles.”

That means, Rutledge wrote in the brief to the high court, that the Board of Election Commissioners made the right call.

Rutledge further argued that Responsible Growth Arkansas’s initiative would also repeal state rules on childproof packaging for marijuana products, as well as advertising restrictions that prevent cannabis companies from marketing to kids.

Other briefs opposing the initiative also were filed with the state Supreme Court by a pair of anti-cannabis groups, which joined the lawsuit as third parties recently, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

Those briefs, filed by Safe and Secure Communities and Save Arkansas from Epidemic, further alleged the marijuana ballot measure should be disqualified for including industrial hemp in its definition of “cannabis,” since hemp is already legal federally and in Arkansas.

John Schroyer


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