The medical marijuana initiative (Issue 5) failed by a vote of 51.44% to 48.56%. Supporters have been trying to get back on the ballot, with an initiative being approved this week to start gathering signatures for the 2016 ballot. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge approved on Wednesday the language and format of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Supporters will now have to collect about 85,000 signatures to make the November ballot.
Rutledge had rejected the five previous MMJ proposals submitted to her, asserting in each case that their titles were too ambiguous. Earlier this month, Rutledge rejected a proposal that backers dubbed “The Arkansas Cannabis Amendment.”
The amendment Rutledge approved this week is called the “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016,” which was submitted by Little Rock attorney David Couch.
In addition to the nearly 85k total valid signature requirement, there are also county signature requirements in Arkansas. That makes signature gathering strategies tougher, especially with such a short time frame to work with. The campaign has until July to meet signature requirements, which isn’t impossible, but will definitely take a solid effort. So far, Florida has already qualified a medical marijuana initiative for the 2016 ballot, with a handful of other states currently gathering signatures.