Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Study Initiative (2012)

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An Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Study Initiative, also known as the Arkansas Cannabis and Hemp Study Act, did not make the November 2012 ballot as an initiated state statute. The measure would have established the Cannabis and Hemp Authority to research the effects of marijuana for medical, recreational and agricultural purposes. It was sponsored by the Mountain Home Teapot Party, which submitted ballot language to the Arkansas Attorney General on April 20, 2011 in order to gain petition circulation approval.[1]

Path to the ballot

Supporters must have obtained at least 62,507 signatures from registered voters by July 6, 2012 in order to have been placed on the ballot. The measure was an initiated state statute, which meant the required amount of signatures equaled to at least 6% of the total number of votes cast for governor.

Before the initiative could circulate, however, the popular name and ballot title must have been approved by the Arkansas Attorney General. On May 4, 2011, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel rejected the proposal's popular name and ballot title.

According to McDaniel, the initiative might have been interpreted as authorizing the cultivation of the drug without conducting the study, and also that the ballot title failed to point out that marijuana was illegal under federal law. McDaniel also cited this point when rejecting the medical marijuana initiative earlier in 2011. Lastly, the attorney general stated that the initiative was ambiguous as to who would conduct the study of the use of marijuana.[2]

See also