Signatures submitted for recreational marijuana, casino measures in Arkansas

(Lumppini photo/Adobe)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Supporters of initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana and scale back casino gambling submitted thousands of signatures Friday in the hopes of getting their proposals on the Arkansas ballot.

Friday was the deadline for groups to turn in the signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. Proposed constitutional amendments need at least 89,151 valid signatures from registered voters.

The proposal’s ballot title and popular name will also need to be approved by the state Board of Election Commissioners.

More than 192,000 signatures were submitted for the recreational marijuana proposal to allow people age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Arkansas voters in 2016 voted to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

More than 103,000 signatures were submitted for the other proposed amendment to repeal part of a casino gambling amendment voters approved in 2018. The proposal would remove Pope County as one of the counties where a casino is allowed. Casinos have already been set up in the three other counties spelled out in the 2018 measure.

State officials will check the petitions to determine whether enough valid signatures were submitted or if the groups qualify for an additional 30 days to collect signatures.