FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — On Saturday (November 16), the Arkansans for Cannabis Reform Group gathered signatures to get two measures on the 2020 ballot.
The reason why we are gathering signatures for this is because the medical plan we have in place for Arkansas has been a nightmare for the patients.Susie Cox, Arkansans for Cannabis Reform Regional Director
One measure allows the use of recreational marijuana and the other measure allows people convicted of marijuana offenses to petition courts for relief, including release from prison and expungement of their conviction.
Susie Cox, the Regional Director for Arkansans for Cannabis Reform (Washington and Benton County), said they want to put “adult use” on the ballot, which would allow people 21 and older to purchase cannabis.
Cox said they are pushing for this because medical marijuana only covers 17 conditions leaving out a lot of patients.
“It helps so many things from A-Z as far as conditions are concerned and because its not legal people are suffering,” she said. “This natural plant is truly remarkable.”
Cox said the expungement of records measure is for those convicted of possession of paraphernalia, plants, distribution of up to 16 oz of cannabis.
“They have lost their lives over it and they’ve gone to jail for a small amount of a natural plant,” she said. “People have had their lives turned upside- down for a joint or two.”
The people of Arkansas are compassionate people so we passed medical marijuana but we are not interested in seeing our state go in the direction Colorado is going.Bart Hester, Arkansas State Senator, District One
State Senator Bart Hester said he believes there will be an “uproar” if the proposal gets on the ballot, especially expunging certain marijuana criminal records.
“It’s not some oh I have a joint on me and I’m getting 10 years, that is not the case, its like ah I did have a joint but I also had 10 pounds in the back of the car,” he said.
Cox said if adult use doesn’t get on the ballot, the Arkansans for Cannabis Reform group said it will be disappointed especially because they think this could be the last time citizens will be able to bring a ballot initiative to a vote.
“We encourage you to contact your congress people to tell them you want to continue to have this process because its your right,” Cox said. “They are making it harder and harder every year.”
“The reality is, it is still a dangerous substance that destroys lives and destroys families and we have to hold people accountable for bad choices,” Sen. Hester said.
For more details on the two measures, click here.
For more events by the Arkansans for Cannabis Reform group, follow “NWA Volunteers for Arkansans for Cannabis Reform” on Facebook.