Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Marijuana Ballot Initiative

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Marijuana Ballot Initiative

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

On Oct. 6, 2017, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected the language of a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. In a letter dated Oct. 6 and published on Oct. 9, Rutledge outlined several ambiguous passages that would need to be revised in order for the measure to be approved for the ballot, as reported by Arkansas Online.

Rutledge pointed to the ambiguous use of the terms “carry on,” “carrying on” and “personal effect.” Used interchangeably, several of the passages in the ballot measure become “nonsensical and redundant,” according to Rutledge.

A passage in the measure that would have allowed for the cultivation of up to 25 mature and 25 immature marijuana plants was another point of contention for the Arkansas Attorney General. Although the measure would have established a limit of 25 plants, nowhere in the text does it explicitly forbid cultivating more plants nor does it outline what happens if an immature plant matures and puts an individual over the mature plant limit.

Finally, Rutledge pointed to a section in the measure that would have required the registration of a “location where more than twelve (12) marijuana plants is being cultivated.” It is unclear whether that limit pertains to mature plants, immature plants or both; nor does it distinguish whether the limit applies to an individual location or a cultivator.

“Based on what has been submitted, my statutory duty is to reject your proposed ballot title for the foregoing reasons and instruct you to redesign the proposed measure and ballot title,” Rutledge wrote.

This is not the first time that Rutledge has rejected this ballot measure. Submitted by marijuana activist Mary L. Berry, the measure has been rejected approximately 16 times in 2017 alone. Although Berry is free to resubmit her measure, it is unknown if she will.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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