Arkansas officials OK signatures for recreational marijuana initiative

(Lumppini photo/Adobe)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Supporters of a recreational marijuana initiative have turned in the required number of valid signatures, moving the measure closer to appearing on Arkansas’ ballot this fall, election officials said Friday.

A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment had reached the 89,151 valid signatures from registered voters needed to qualify for the November ballot. The proposal’s popular name and ballot title still must be approved by the state Board of Election Commissioners to qualify for the ballot.

The board is expected to review the measure on Wednesday.

More than 192,000 signatures were submitted July 8 for the 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.

The secretary of state’s office did not have a final count on the number of valid signatures verified yet.

The proposal is one of two initiatives vying for the November ballot in Arkansas. Officials are reviewing signatures submitted for another proposal that would scale back a casino gambling measure voters approved in 2018.

That proposal would remove Pope County as one of the four counties where a casino is allowed.