Supreme Court places marijuana amendment on ballot provisionally; UPDATE: Responsible Growth comments August 11, 2022 By Griffin Coop The state Supreme Court provisionally placed an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana on the November ballot and will rule later whether votes on the measure should be counted, according to a ruling issued Wednesday. Last week, the state Board of Election Commissioners voted unanimously not to certify the ballot title for Responsible Growth Arkansas’s amendment to legalize marijuana for adult use. Responsible Growth appealed the decision to the Supreme Court the next day. Responsible Growth filed a motion to expedite the matter on Aug. 5, calling for the Supreme Court to provide an expedited schedule for hearing the appeal and calling for the court to issue a preliminary injunction requiring Secretary of State John Thurston to provisionally certify the amendment. The court granted both of those requests in its Wednesday ruling. Thurston announced last month that Responsible Growth had submitted more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The measure, called the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment, also needed the approval of the Board of Election Commissioners. The board met at the state capitol on Aug. 3 and discussion among board members focused on the amendment’s elimination of the 10 mg THC cap on edibles and the elimination of background checks for marijuana business owners with an ownership stake of less than 5%. Those changes are in the amendment but do not appear in the ballot title. We’ve reached out to Responsible Growth counsel Steve Lancaster for comment and will update when we hear back. UPDATE: We spoke with Responsible Growth counsel Steve Lancaster about the orders issued by the Supreme Court Wednesday. Lancaster said he was very pleased but not surprised by the orders, which he said are standard in these types of cases. Lancaster said the orders give him added confidence that the court will see the group’s appeal favorably. The state had argued that the amendment should not be put on the ballot, he said, and argued that the group’s appeal had no chance to succeed on the merits. “So they thought the lawsuit should be dismissed and the court obviously gave that no consideration or didn’t believe that and found that we were entitled to an injunction,” he said. “The standard for that is that there is a reasonable probability that you’ll prevail. It’s more a matter that the court wants to preserve the status quo, but we definitely took it as a win.” Thanks to an expedited schedule, more briefs will be filed this month and an ultimate ruling could occur by late September, he said. One benefit of Wednesday’s order was that the court can thoroughly review and deliberate over the issue and won’t be rushed to rule on the matter before August 25 when ballots start to be printed. Although the amendment is only on the ballot provisionally, the Responsible Growth campaign will launch a campaign before a final ruling from the court on whether the votes should be counted. “I think we’ll be moving forward with the campaign and continuing to raise money and all things you would do with the expectation that our votes are going to count in November,” Lancaster said.