One Pot Petition Approved, Another Denied

Arkansas medical marijuana supporters are keen to get a ballot measure for the 2014 general election. They believe that, if residents have a chance to vote on the issue, medical marijuana will pass in our state. The language for two proposed measures have been ruled on by State Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, and one got the OK, while the other still needs work and was denied.

At issue is the name and ballot title. These have to be representative of the measure offered and cannot be misleading. Voters should have a clear idea of what they are voting on. The one that passed is called “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act” and the one that failed had “ambiguities” in the text of the proposal.

Because a ballot measure will end up as law, the language used must meet certain standards and legal definitions. A lack of clarity can make an Act unenforceable or tie it up in court. In some cases, a lack of clear language will get a law tossed out altogether.

The group which presented the approved language can now set about collecting the required number of signatures. The group, Arkansans for Responsible Marijuana will need to get 62,507 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot. They have until the middle of July, 2014, to get them. Last year’s bill was able to gain enough signatures to get it on the ballot, so this isn’t seen as a problem.

The latest version of the proposed measure also makes a change from last year’s effort. It drops the permission for medical marijuana patients to “grow their own.” This change is expected to garner enough additional votes to get the proposal passed.

If the other group changes the language of their ballot measure and gets approval, it may be a problem. Voters would then face two medical marijuana choices and this, all by itself, might dilute the votes enough so that both measures end up failing. Only time will tell.


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