Arkansas voters defeated the recreational marijuana legalization ballot measure in Tuesday's midterms. The measure failed to receive enough votes, surprising many as a recent poll showed a comfortable majority of likely voters had favored the ballot measure. On Tuesday, however, voting broke down with 57% against legalization and 43% in favor.

Arkansas was one of five states voting on cannabis legalization in this year’s midterms. Only Missouri and Maryland voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis.

Why Did The Measure Fail?

This time around, the proposed legalization measure was rejected by both marijuana opponents and advocates who argued that it was not comprehensive enough, reported Arkansas Advocate.

Melissa Fults, an advocate for medical marijuana patients, was against Issue 4 though on Wednesday she said she'd help lead a 2024 initiative effort. She has plans to partner with the attorney who drafted the 2016 medical marijuana amendment and that they'd address Issue 4’s shortcomings.

What Was In Issue 4?

The measure would have legalized cannabis use for people 21 and older and would authorize the commercial sale of marijuana with 10% taxes. Of the collected tax revenue, 15% was set to be used to fund an annual stipend for all full-time law enforcement officers certified by the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training that they're in good standing.

Under the initiative, sponsored by the group Responsible Growth Arkansas, adults would have been allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, while home growing would not have been allowed.

Furthermore, the measure would have enabled Arkansas' current medical marijuana licensees to sell cannabis at their existing locations and establish one additional location for commercial sales only. An additional 40 licenses would have been granted to businesses via a lottery.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division …

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