(TB&P) — A medical cannabis advocacy and education group that has pushed for marijuana changes in Arkansas for several years said it plans to file two ballot petitions on Wednesday (July 10) that would legalize all cannabis sales and use in the Natural State and expunge the records of low-level pot offenders.
Melissa Fults, executive director of the nonprofit Drug Policy Education Group (DPEG), told Talk Business & Politics Tuesday (July 9) her organization plans to file the proposed ballot petitions with the Arkansas Secretary of State on Wednesday afternoon. Fults said the ballot proposals have been in the works for nearly a year, but her group has expedited the process as the legislature looks to make it harder to amend the state Constitution.
“They are completely trying to eliminate the petition process,” Fults said of House Joint Resolution 1008 that refers a ballot proposal to voters in 2020 that would substantially alter the amendment process and citizen-led referendums. “We figure this may be our last chance if the amendment passes.”
Fults added there is a consensus among medical marijuana advocates that the Arkansas General Assembly and the state Medical Marijuana Commission (MMC) have intentionally frustrated and delayed the launch of the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry after voters approved Amendment 98, the ballot issue in the November 2016 election that legalized medical-grade cannabis.
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