Appeal filed to Arkansas Supreme Court to keep recreational marijuana measure on November ballot

A cultivator trims the leaves of a cannabis plant. (Adobe)

Supporters of a recreational marijuana initiative have asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to order election officials to put their measure on the November ballot.

Responsible Growth Arkansas asked the court on Thursday to reverse the State Board of Election Commissioners’ rejection of the popular name and ballot title for the proposed constitutional amendment. The group had submitted more than enough signatures to qualify, but the proposal also needed the approval of the board to appear on the ballot.

Board members on Wednesday criticized the measure, saying it did not fully describe the proposal’s impact. The Thursday lawsuit said the board used an “overly stringent” approach that violates the state’s constitution. It also challenges a 2019 law that empowers the board to certify ballot measures.

Before that law, ballot measures had to be reviewed by the attorney general before petitions could be circulated.

Arkansas voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.