ARKANSAS (KNWA/FOX24) — Arkansans spoke during the midterm election and they did not pass Ballot Issue 4, which would have legalized recreational marijuana.
Responsible Growth Arkansas did get more than 190,000 signatures of support for recreational marijuana. However, on election day, the issue failed with more than 56% of voters voting against it.
Arkansas lawmakers on both sides of the aisle ended up coming out against Ballot Issue 4.
Most of the opposition came from Republicans, but Democratic State Senator Greg Leding tweeted in the days leading up to the election that he also didn’t support it because it limited the number of companies who could participate and it ended the requirement that these companies be majority-owned by Arkansans.
KWNA/FOX24 asked Misty Orpin, Executive Director of Common Ground Arkansas if her organization expects recreational marijuana to come up during the legislative session.
“I don’t think you’ll see them pushing recreational marijuana,” she said. “I do think that you will continue to see them pushing bills that restrict voters in Arkansas more. They put a lot of things before the voters that they wanted to pass and the voters didn’t pass them, so what are they going to try to do legislatively to pass the things that the voters rejected?”
Ballot measures for constitutional amendments only require a simple majority vote for approval. Arkansas lawmakers put up another ballot issue to increase that to a supermajority vote of 60%. That ballot issue also failed in the midterm, with more than 59% voting against it.
KNWA/FOX24 did reach out to Responsible Growth Arkansas to see if it has plans to push recreational marijuana again in the future. We did not hear back in time for this report.
The legislative session starts on January 9th. At this time, no bills have been filed regarding recreational pot. Click here to track what bills have been filed early.