How we got here: A look back at the recreational marijuana petition process

How we got here: A look back at the recreational marijuana petition process

Responsible Growth Arkansas is expected to deliver more than enough signatures to the secretary of state on Friday to qualify its recreational marijuana amendment for the November ballot. 

After that, the industry-backed group will need the approval of the state Board of Election Commissioners and might have to fight off legal challenges as its campaign to legalize adult-use marijuana gets underway. 

With all that on the horizon, here’s a look back at what Arkansas Cannabiz and the Arkansas Times have published about the recreational marijuana petitions from Responsible Growth and others over the past year. 

July 5 – More than signatures: Marijuana petition needs state board’s approval

Responsible Growth Arkansas needs at least 89,151 signatures to qualify for the ballot, but it also needs the stamp of approval from the state Board of Election Commissioners. 

June 30 – Responsible Growth expects plenty of signatures, ready for legal battles

Eddie Armstrong, chair of Responsible Growth Arkansas, says his group plans to turn in more than enough signatures by the July 8 deadline and that it is ready for legal challenges. 

June 16 – Responsible Growth spends another $700,000 on signature process

Financial records show Responsible Growth spent $700,000 in May, including $405,000 paid to a Dallas company for work related to the signature-gathering process. 

May 26 – Adult use marijuana campaign making headway

Responsible Growth announces it has more than 65,000 verified signatures and financial records show the group has spent more than $1 million. 

May 12 – More than 50,000 Arkansans sign on for recreational marijuana

Armstrong says his group has more than half the signatures they need, while marijuana advocates Melissa Fults and David Couch declare their opposition to Responsible Growth’s campaign. 

May 10 – Fults stops signature push for marijuana amendment, will instead work to defeat industry-backed effort

Marijuana advocate Melissa Fults says she will drop her effort to pass a constitutional amendment in 2022 and will to defeat Responsible Growth’s amendment. Fults says she is working toward a 2024 amendment of her own.  

March 3 – Puff, puff, pass: Comparing and contrasting the three petitions to allow adults to use marijuana recreationally in Arkansas

We compare and contrast the three amendment proposals on such issues as the number of marijuana businesses they would allow and whether residents could grow their own plants. 

January 26 – Group backed by cannabis cultivators filed proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for adults

Responsible Growth files its proposed amendment to create what Armstrong calls a “responsible and well-regulated industry.” 

December 1 – Campaign underway for marijuana legalization

Fults files a proposed amendment she says is fair to the consumer, the industry and the state. 

October 31 – Push begins for marijuana legalization in Arkansas

Arkansas True Grass files a proposed amendment to legalize marijuana and grow up to 12 plants of their own.