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Recreational marijuana fails to pass in Arkansas

Arkansas voters have chosen to deny the passage of recreational marijuana in the 2022 elections.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansans have voted to deny the passage of recreational marijuana legalization which appeared as Issue 4 during the 2022 elections, according to the Associated Press.

As of 11:30 p.m., 67% of people voted against the measure with nearly 44% voting for it.

The road for recreational marijuana has been a long, winding road. Responsible Growth Arkansas (RGA) gathered nearly double the needed number of signatures for it to appear on the election ballot. 

Despite that overwhelming amount of signatures, election officials initially rejected the measure. 

RELATED: What are the Arkansas amendments on the 2022 ballot?

After petitioners filed an appeal in response to the rejection, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the measure appearing on the 2022 ballots.  

The court decided that election officials have no right to reject the proposal and emphasized that the “people will decide whether to approve the proposed amendment in November." 

When early polling came in, many likely voters stated that they’d vote for recreational marijuana during preliminary polls. 

In the months leading up to the election however, support for the measure began to wane. 

The measure garnered its fair share of opposition over the months with Arkansans gathering at the State Capitol to speak against the bill. 

Many prominent Republican figures also rejected the legalization of recreational marijuana including Attorney General candidate Tim Griffin and Arkansas Governor candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

On the flip side, the measure garnered support from political leaders such as Arkansas Governor candidates Chris Jones (D) and Ricky Dale Harrington (L). 

Among the four Issues on the 2022 ballot, Issue 4 was easily the most visible of the measures. It was also the only one of the measures that was proposed by citizens.

We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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