Little Rock, AR: Lawmakers passed legislation this week to delay the enactment of the state's voter-initiated medical cannabis program.
House Bill 1026, now Act 4, postpones the implementation of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment by 60 days. Under the new timeline, regulators have until July 1, 2017 to begin accepting applications from those seeking a state license to grow or dispense medical cannabis. Fifty-three percent of voters decided in favor of the Amendment on Election Day.
Because the legislation amends a constitutional amendment, it required the votes of over two-thirds of state lawmakers.
Lawmakers in several states, including Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and North Dakota, are pushing forward similar legislative efforts to either significantly delay or amend voter-approved marijuana initiatives.
NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri expressed strong criticism toward these proposed changes and delays, stating: "Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already. Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner."
For more information, please contact NORML Political Director Justin Strekal or NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri at: (202) 483-5500.