AP NEWS

Arkansas group submits recreational marijuana ballot measure

July 10, 2019
This May 20, 2019, file photo shows a mature marijuana plant beginning to bloom under artificial lights at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, Calif. A group plans to begin gathering signatures soon to try and put a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana on the ballot in Arkansas next year. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel File)
This May 20, 2019, file photo shows a mature marijuana plant beginning to bloom under artificial lights at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, Calif. A group plans to begin gathering signatures soon to try and put a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana on the ballot in Arkansas next year. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A group plans to begin gathering signatures soon to try and put a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana on the ballot in Arkansas next year.

The Drug Policy Education Group on Wednesday submitted a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow licensed dispensaries to sell marijuana for recreational use. Arkansas voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and dispensaries began selling the product in May.

The group also submitted a proposed amendment that would allow people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses to petition courts for relief, including release from incarceration and expungement of their conviction.

The group has until July 3, 2020, to gather the needed 89,151 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November 2020 election ballot. The state Board of Election Commissioners must also review the ballot measure’s wording.