LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On August 4, Responsible Growth Arkansas filed suit in the Arkansas Supreme Court over the rejection of their recreational marijuana ballot initiative title.
According to the court filing, the group is bringing a complaint against John Thurston, Secretary of State and Chair of the State Board of Election Commissioners. The first bullet point of the motion states that the action was made “to challenge the State Board of Election Commissioners’ thwarting of the will of the people and their right to adopt laws by initiative.”
The filing cites prior case law that establishes that “that power lies at the heart of our democratic institutions.”
“The Board has attacked that heart through its incorrect rejection of the ballot title,” it added. On August 3, the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners voted against certification of the recreational marijuana ballot amendment.
Earlier in the week, Secretary Thurston certified that Responsible Growth had submitted enough valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot in November.
The August 5 filing by Responsible Growth notes that its complaint is “an original action under Amendment 7 to the Arkansas Constitution and Rule 6-5 of the Rules of the Arkansas Supreme Court.” It further notes that the Secretary is required by statute to certify the “popular name and ballot title” if they “are not misleading.”
The popular name and ballot title are legally sufficient under this Court’s precedent because they give voters an impartial summary of the Amendment that provides a fair understanding of the issues presented and of the scope and significance of the proposed changes to the law. Nothing is omitted that would give voters serious grounds for reflection, and nothing in the popular name and ballot title is misleading in any way. The Board thus erred in denying certification.Responsible Growth v. John Thurston, filed in Arkansas Supreme Court, August 4
Responsible Growth requested that the Court vacate the Board’s denial because the action was unconstitutional. The filing additionally asks for a preliminary injunction ordering the amendment to appear on the ballot “because it is unlikely that the Court will decide this action before the August 25 deadline for certification for the Amendment to appear on the November 2022 ballot.”
The general election is on November 8.