Responsible Growth Arkansas Files Lawsuit to Challenge Officials’ Decision to Reject Adult-Use Cannabis Ballot Initiative
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Responsible Growth Arkansas Files Lawsuit to Challenge Officials’ Decision to Reject Adult-Use Cannabis Ballot Initiative

The state Board of Election Commissioners struck down the group’s proposed ballot measure last week after rejecting its popular name and ballot title.

August 8, 2022

Responsible Growth Arkansas is fighting back after the state Board of Election Commissioners rejected its adult-use cannabis ballot initiative last week.

The group submitted more than 190,000 signatures—more than double the 89,151 signatures required—to the secretary of state’s office last month to get its adult-use cannabis legalization measure before voters this fall.

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The ballot initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment, would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

State officials announced July 29 that Responsible Growth Arkansas met the signature requirement, and the Board of Election Commissioners was tasked with approving the proposal’s popular name and ballot title to officially qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The board ultimately struck down the measure Aug. 3 after rejecting the popular name and ballot title. Officials expressed concerns that the ballot title did not fully explain to voters the impact of the constitutional amendment.

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Responsible Growth Arkansas filed a lawsuit Aug. 4 in the state’s Supreme Court to challenge the board’s decision, according to a KNWA report.

The complaint names John Thurston, Arkansas’ secretary of state and the chair of the Board of Election Commissioners, as a defendant in the case, the news outlet reported.

Responsible Growth Arkansas claims in the lawsuit that the board's decision not to certify the ballot initiative was unconstitutional, and the group asks the court to vacate the board’s decision, according to KNWA. The filing also asks for a preliminary injunction ordering the measure to appear on the November ballot because “it is unlikely that the Court will decide this action before the August 25 deadline for certification for the amendment to appear on the November 2022 ballot,” the news outlet reported.