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Arkansas attorney general's office rejects 5 marijuana proposals, man plans appeal

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CONWAY, Arkansas — The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected five proposed ballot titles that would have asked voters to legalize marijuana for various purposes.

But Robert Reed of Dennard said he isn't giving up and is planning to appeal the most recent denials, on July 20, by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who cited ambiguities in two of the proposals Reed submitted.

Reed told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1MRKBsn ) that he suffers from a painful bone disease and fears the potential side effects of painkillers now available to him.

Four of Reed's proposals would have let voters decide whether to approve a constitutional amendment allowing for either industrial or agricultural uses and medical uses of marijuana. The other proposal would have let voters decide whether to pass an amendment legalizing all uses of marijuana.

Rutledge wrote in a July 20 letter to Reed that among other things, his agricultural and medical title was "misleading in that it could cause voters to erroneously conclude that the amendment pertains only to 'agricultural' hemp and medical marijuana when, in fact, the proposal makes lawful the selling, etc., of all cannabis for all uses."

On the other proposal, titled End Cannabis Prohibition for short, Rutledge also found several issues with it, including a "number of errors of syntax and typing that do not evidence the care that should be taken in an attempt to amend the Constitution."

Reed said he has been trying to get a marijuana issue on the ballot since 2012, noting that he "probably (has) been at it longer than anyone else" in the state.

Rutledge's spokesman, Judd Deere, said in an email that, "Based on her experience as a prosecutor and as the chief law enforcement officer of the State, Attorney General Rutledge does not support the legalization of marijuana in Arkansas."

But Deere said the attorney general's office "has been given no authority to consider the merits of any measure when considering the sufficiency of a proposed ballot title."


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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