Marijuana advocates in Arkansas are apparently in such a hurry to legalize the leaf in their neck of the woods that they are submitting ballot language to the state chock-full of grammatical errors.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she was recently forced to reject a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize a statewide recreational marijuana market after discovering a number of mistakes in grammar and spelling throughout the document. Rutledge insisted that even if the entity behind the “Arkansas Cannabis Amendment” would have run a simple spell and grammar check before turning in the proposal, it still would have been denied because the overall language was simply too ambiguous to constitute the backbone of a state policy change.
Among some of the problematic text was the phrase, “any person eighteen (18) years of age and older.” Rutledge argued that this portion of the proposal does not make any sense because a person cannot be “18 and older,” and that it should have been written “18 years of age or older” instead. The Attorney General also nitpicked at the proposal’s blending of singular and plural uses of nouns and verbs. "State laws as it pertains to marijuana" and "number of license" were two phrases cited in Rutledge’s opinion summary of the initiative.
The proposal was written by Marry Berry of Summit, Arkansas. She is hoping to eliminate prohibition across the state by establishing a marketplace where “all products derived from the cannabis plant” are not longer criminalized under state law. In a bit of a stretch, Rutledge also found this segment of the ballot measure was not specific enough to pass.
On the upside, now that all of the discrepancies with the initiative have been outlined and made public, Berry can begin correcting her proposal and resubmit it to the state.
And while it is not our intention to further Berry’s embarrassment by reporting that sloppy work is ultimately what foiled the initiative’s chance at beginning its signature collecting campaign, we felt it was necessary to point out the importance of putting forth a solid, well concentrated plan of attack when making a serious move to reform the marijuana laws in your state. These types of movements are extremely difficult, requiring a legion of manpower and million of dollars in funding to even bite off a fighting chance.
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