Arkansas Attorney General rejects confusing marijuana legalization proposal


Arkansas AG Dustin McDaniel

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel ruled that a marijuana legalization measure that repeals state laws on marijuana possession, use and cultivation for being too vague.
This is the second time that McDaniel has rejected the ballot proposal. And no, he is not unclear as to what “repealing all laws related to cannabis” means, nor does he seem to have a personal grudge against pot. Basically, the proposal just doesn’t make sense.

The proposal, written by the 70-year-old Marjorie LeClair of Shirley and dubbed the Ban Prohibition of Cannabis, would “amend the Constitution of Arkansas to repeal all laws prohibiting the production, distribution, sale and use of the cannabis plant and products thereof. The Arkansas Legislature shall make no laws prohibiting or limiting the production, distribution, sale and use of cannabis.”
According to language submitted, the ballot measure would also prevent the state legislature from passing laws “prohibiting or limiting the production, distribution, sale, and use of the cannabis plant and its derivatives.”
While the intent of the bill is generally clear, it is, frankly, poorly written. Namely, the bill calls for the legislature to “provide for taxation”, but it also says that they can’t restrict cannabis – and taxation would be a restriction.
“Your measure is further ambiguous in that it is unclear what the term ‘administration of this amendment’ betokens,” McDaniels wrote in his response. “Presumably, this phrase does not refer to the taxation of cannabis, since you distinguish between ‘administration’ and ‘taxation.’ Aside from its ambiguous reference to ‘taxation,’ your measure contains no provision that would require the administration of anything. It would in itself merely (1) repeal ‘all laws’ pertaining to cannabis and (2) foreclose the legislature from enacting future laws pertaining to cannabis. It is consequently unclear what you mean by the term ‘administration.'”
The Attorney General has given his approval to two ballot measures related to medical marijuana. Both initiatives are currently in the signature-gathering phase of their campagins.