An Arkansas group this week announced plans to file two ballot petitions that would legalize recreational marijuana and allow low-level cannabis offenders to seek expungement of their convictions.
The Drug Policy Education Group on Wednesday released the language of the proposed constitutional amendments on the organization’s website. Once filed, the group can begin gathering signatures for the 2020 ballot.
The nonprofit advocacy and education group has in the past worked on two attempted petition drives for medical marijuana use in Arkansas.
“Other states have seen better, safer outcomes by removing the black-market elements created by the illegal sale of cannabis,” said Melissa Fults, the group’s executive director, in a statement. “The truth is that cannabis is safer than alcohol while prohibition is ineffective and racially biased. It has done far more harm in our community than cannabis.”
Under current law, a constitutional amendment requires signatures from 10 percent percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. That means the group will need nearly 90,000 signatures.
State voters in 2016 approved legalized marijuana use for 18 qualifying medical conditions. If the new proposal is approved, Arkansas would be the 12th state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana use.