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Proposal Hopes to Decriminalize Marijuana Convictions in Arkansas

(LITTLE ROCK)  In what has been described as a long-term attempt to make Marijuana legal in Arkansas, advocates will once again deliver paperwork to the Arkansas Secretary of State proposing legal recreational marijuana and clearing prior criminal records for the drug.

The pair of signature drives are led by supporters who have made three previous attempts to amend the state constitution.

“It does a lot of things. It allows ‘home grow.’ It allows an expansion of the dispensaries,” said Melissa Fults, Executive Director of Drug Policy Education Group.

It is also not known how many people would be affected by clearing prior criminal convictions for the use of the drug.

The drive will have to navigate a new governmental process to get on the ballot. Secretary of State John Thurston will file the proposals and allow the advocacy group to gather the required number of signatures.

Fults hopes to get her first signature August 1 and says financial backers are ready to come on board once they see the process get started. They have a goal of getting enough signatures within six months, allowing enough time for the expected legal challenges.

In the past, the Attorney General would have to sign off on the language in the proposal and render a legal opinion on whether it should go before voters. After a law change in the 2019 legislative session, a commission will now decide on validity of the signatures and the constitutionality of the proposal.

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