Arkansas court orders recreational cannabis amendment put back on ballot

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(This story has been updated to explain conditions attached to the ballot initiative.)

Arkansas voters will have an opportunity to vote on recreational cannabis legalization this year after all.

The state Supreme Court ordered the secretary of state to certify the ballot title for adult-use marijuana in order for the proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the November ballot, Little Rock TV station KARK reported.

Secretary of State John Thurston has until Aug. 25 to certify any constitutional amendment for this year’s ballot.

The Arkansas high court’s move, which is conditional, means Arkansans will get to vote in November on whether to allow adult-use sales in the state.

However, there’s a chance the votes will not count because of a pending lawsuit filed by marijuana advocacy group Responsible Growth Arkansas.

Steve Lancaster, attorney for Responsible Growth Arkansas, said in a statement to Arkansas TV stations KHBS and KHOG that Arkansans will “be able to cast a vote. But what’s going to happen in the interim is the Supreme Court will make its decision, and if they agree with us that our ballot title is good, then the votes will count.

“Otherwise, if the court decides that our ballot title is not sufficient, they’ll just never count those votes.”

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Responsible Growth Arkansas filed a lawsuit on Aug. 5 asking the state’s Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the State Board of Election Commissioners to keep the amendment off the ballot.

The advocacy group had submitted enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot, but the election board said the measure did not completely describe the proposal’s potential impact because it did not clearly state whether edibles would have a THC limit.