Push to legalize recreational marijuana continues

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A push for recreational pot in the natural state.

Multiple proposals are battling it out for voter signatures.

One organization said it is going to resubmit an initiative to gain more momentum for 2024.

Signatures are important to qualify for a spot on the ballot.

Melissa Fults with Arkansans for Compassionate Care said they are submitting a new proposal to have more time to get signatures.

The group originally submitted a proposal in December 2020 according to documents with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.

Fults said this new proposal is called the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Reform Amendment of 2024.

She said this amendment will focus on expungement of drug charges for 16 ounces of marijuana or less and paraphernalia.

It will also focus on legalizing the possession of up to 5 ounces of recreational marijuana and making marijuana more accessible to the public.

“Each county will have at least one dispensary, so patients will have better access and that is really what we are going for,” she said.

Fults explained how the new proposal allows a dispensary for every 15,000 residents per county.

She said the group wanted to make sure not all the dispensaries were located in larger cities in the state.

While the omicron variant was sweeping the state, she said it was hard to get signatures, but now Fults is sure they will get enough this time around.

“Oh yes, we will have two years to get it done. Which is more than enough time,” she said.

Fults said she plans to resubmit this proposal in the next few weeks and prepare to gather signatures for 2024.

All the proposals submitted have different ways to preserve the medical marijuana program while also legalizing recreational marijuana.

Over in Missouri, one group is working to legalize marijuana for adult use.

Right now, the state only allows medical marijuana.

Legal Missouri 2022 launched a petition campaign back in December for an initiative to appear on the ballot.

170,000 valid signatures would need to be collected from six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

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