Issue 7, Arkansas Medical Marijuana Legislation

The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, has been taken off the November ballot. The decision was made in a ruling issued Thursday morning by the Arkansas Supreme Court. The high court agreed with a challenge to the sufficiency of thousands of signatures counted by the Secretary of State’s Office.

In  Arkansas, there must be 67,887 signatures of registered voters ballot measure to be placed on the general election ballot,

Why Were The Signatures Not Sufficient ?

  • Technical compliance was not met on canvassing requirements.
  • 8,620 signatures, were disqualified because they were gathered by paid canvassers and that didn’t meet the requirments for paid canvassers.
  • The Supreme Court determined that 7,580 signatures were disqualified because they failed to perform background checks or they did the background checks after they reported they did.
  • The court disqualified 1,040 signatures because the canvassers had not disclosed to the secretary of state that they were being paid before the signatures took place. (The court said the law interpreted paid canvassers to include those with whom an agreement exists to pay money.)
  • The court dismissed 3,329 signatures for not having a residential address of the canvassers, some canvassers gave non eligible address i.e. no address, PO boxes, or a business address.
  •  155 signatures where disqualified because the canvasser supplied a date before a voter signed.
  • Another 2,200 signatures were thrown out because the  canvassers didn’t properly check a box meant to indicate if the canvasser was paid.

In all, needing 67,887 signatures, the Supreme Court found that its disallowance of 12,104 signatures left the petitions 2,465 short, at 65,412 valid signatures.

The November 8th Ballot does have another marijuana issue, a constitutional amendment that would allow for-profit dispensaries regulated by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. In Arkansas early voting began on Monday, many early voters are frustrated that the court ruling took as long as it did. Some voters voted for 7, but against 6  thinking both were going to be on the ballot and now wish they had voted for both.

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