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Marijuana amendment ballot wording rejected

by Danielle Kloap | May 1, 2015 at 2:05 p.m.

The proposed wording for a prospective state constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana has been rejected, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in an opinion issued Friday.

Lobbyist Robert L. Reed submitted the popular name and ballot title for "The Arkansas Industrial Hemp and Medical Cannabis Amendment," with an effective date of April 20, 2017.

Rutledge wrote that one of the problems was it referred to "industrial" hemp and "medical" cannabis without limiting the uses of the substance to industry and medicine, which would be misleading to voters.

Reed's ballot title defines the difference between industrial hemp and medical cannabis but does not mention any limits of use for those substances.

Industrial hemp contains less Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than medical marijuana, the ballot title states.

Rutledge also wrote that it was "impossible to clearly discern" whether the General Assembly would regulate just hemp for industrial use or cannabis for medical use when the ballot title states the substances are also for "personal, industrial, or commercial use."

Reed's proposal was revised after Rutledge rejected it April 13. He can revise the proposal again and resubmit it, the opinion states.

In order for the proposed constitutional amendment to make it onto the ballot, 10 percent of legal voters in the state would have to sign a petition.

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