Marijuana and redistricting make another game for 2022 | Regional News
There are now four marijuana proposals competing for voter signatures to qualify for a spot on the 2022 ballot in Arkansas, a state where voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in 2016.
Responsible Growth Arkansas filed its constitutional amendment with the secretary of state’s office on January 24, about three months after filing its financial documents with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
In its January financial report, the group led by former state legislator Eddie Armstrong raised $1.75 million from marijuana grow businesses. The group seeks to legalize the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes.
Melissa Fults, who led a grassroots proposal on medical marijuana in the 2016 general election, has also filed a marijuana initiative since the December ballot.
The 2022 Arkansas Marijuana Amendment replaces a Fults proposal filed in November that included expunging criminal records. Fults said the new proposal, filed Dec. 29, resolves some issues with the previous draft. The new version still contains a provision allowing those convicted of certain marijuana-related offenses to have their criminal records expunged.
The two groups’ proposals differ in their methods of preserving the medical marijuana program while adding recreational sales and changing dispensary ownership requirements via Amendment 98 changes. months also aim to legalize cannabis for personal use.
Another voting problem from the past is making a resurgence.
Supporters of changing the process for redrawing state and federal electoral districts have tabled a new proposal to create a citizen-led redistricting commission. The Arkansas Supreme Court removed a similar issue from the 2020 ballot regarding the poor wording of campaign statements related to canvasser background checks.
David Couch filed the new Arkansas Citizens Redistricting Commission Amendment Proposal. He said the proposal would set up the same kind of commission he had proposed in 2020 before the census.
Arkansas’ new constituencies for the U.S. House of Representatives went into effect this month after a group seeking a voter referendum on the borders failed to turn in voter signatures before the January 13 petition deadline.
Arkansas lawmakers approved new maps for electoral districts after the 2020 census during a special session last year. The Arkansans for a Unified Natural State filed a referendum proposal in October challenging Senate and House bills establishing federal districts. The group needed to collect more than 50,000 voter signatures by January 13 to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.
The Secretary of State’s office has not received any petitions.
As of January 25, the titles for all 12 ballots have been filed with the office of the Secretary of State for the November 2022 elections.
CLICK HERE to find the proposals of the legislature and those submitted by citizens’ groups.
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