LITTLE ROCK, AR - An Arkansas marijuana legalization proposal is one step closer to the ballot.
This afternoon, the Arkansas Attorney General's office certified the popular name and ballot title of the Arkansas Hemp and Cannabis Amendment.
The amendment proposes that the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sale, possession and use of the cannabis plant and all products derived from the cannabis plant are permitted.
Approval of the ballot title means that supporters of the amendment can gather signatures of registered voters.
"We have won the war, yet there's a lot of work that's gotta take place and it's going to be up to the citizens of Arkansas to do it," says Robert Reed, who authored the amendment.
The map of America is changing when it comes to marijuana laws. Colorado and Washington legalized pot in 2012. Alaska already has it on the ballot this year. Oregon could be next. Then there's the Natural State. If 78,133 registered voters sign the petition, the issue goes before all Arkansas voters in November.
"This has been a four year battle to get to this stage," says Reed. "This basically ends 80 years of cannabis prohibition, this will make it legal in the state of Arkansas to grow this plant for industrial use, medical use, and yes to regulate for recreational use," Reed says.
Opponents of the measure are also weighing in.
"I just don't believe its an idea that will fly here in Arkansas," says Jerry Cox, president of Arkansas Family Council. "We're setting ourselves up to create yet another road for people to inflict harm, not only on themselves, but on the members of their family, on their children, of everybody who is around them."
Cox not only disagrees with this issue, he also doubts it has the backing to make it on the ballot.
"We've said all along that Colorado and Washington are kind of like the examples of the end of the line with this, where it's just totally legal and we don't wanna see that in Arkansas."
The deadline is July 7 for supporters of the Arkansas Hemp and Cannabis Amendment to submit the petition signatures. Reed says three-thousand people are ready to hit the streets with the petitions to gather those signatures.
The entire AG's opinion is attached above.
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