Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Initiatives Are Making Steady Progress Despite the Challenges Presented by COVID-19
Arkansas has seen an increase in the number of advocates who wish to see recreational marijuana legalized statewide. Recently, the Arkansas Supreme Court made a favorable ruling that allows groups like Arkansans Cannabis Reform to seek its necessary signatures online electronically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director Melissa Fults and her fellow cannabis advocates have faced challenges from the pandemic, such as their canvassers not being able to help gather signatures. The group wishes to see an amendment regarding recreational marijuana on Arkansas’s November ballot. Those who wish to take part can download the appropriate signature page, sign it and send it in to Arkansans for Cannabis Reform through the mail.
If the initiative is successful, then Arkansas residents who are at least 21 years old will be able to buy and consume recreational cannabis. Additionally, there would be newly created dispensaries, and each Arkansas county would be home to at least one of them. Under this initiative, dispensaries would also be allowed to grow 200 seedlings and mature plants, which is quadruple the current limitation of 50 plants.
Interestingly, Arkansans for Cannabis Reform is also a proponent of legal home growth, and a six plant limit has been proposed for Arkansas home growers. When it comes to the sales tax generated by recreational marijuana, Fults believes these funds can make a positive impact on children throughout the state, with 60 percent going to after-school programs and pre-k and the remaining 40 percent being sent to UAMS.
A total of 89,000 signatures will be required in order for Arkansans for Cannabis Reform and Executive Director Melissa Fults to successfully get their initiative onto the state’s November ballot. Regarding the issue of gathering more Arkansans’ signatures, Fults discussed a strategy of reaching out via letters.
She stated that sending letters, a signature sheet and a self-addressed envelope out would make a difference. The recipients of these letters would be those Arkansans who have previously signed the 2016 marijuana initiatives like the patients at Little Rock HOC. Fults believes that if enough of these recipients manage to sign and return their signature sheets in a timely manner, then her group’s recreational marijuana initiative will have a much better chance of finally ending up on Arkansas’s important November ballot.