Our View: Time once again to get educated on ballot proposals

As if we haven’t had our fill of politics, those voters among us in Arkansas will not only have to decide on who we want for our next president but very likely whether or not we want a bunch of “pot heads” toking up around us as well as restoring much needed term limits for lawmakers. Actually, there are 12 ballot measures – initiated acts and constitutional amendments – approved for the 2016 ballot by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and her predecessor, Dustin McDaniel, but only five are active. And, we’re told, petitioners were out in force during this recent primary collecting the required number of signatures of registered voters that will be necessary to appear on the ballot. This will be the second time Arkansas voters have had the opportunity to consider this one particular initiated act entitled, The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act which, if passed, would legalize medical marijuana. Arkansans for compassionate Care pushed the 2012 initiated, which failed after receiving 49 percent of the vote in that year’s general election. Now then, there is another “pot” group of people collecting voter signatures in hopes of passing their initiative entitled, The Arkansas Hemp and Cannabis Amendment. Now, if this actually passes, it would simply legalize the use or marijuana. We’re told this measure would establish the right to grow the “pot” plant but allows the Legislature to establish the rules for use, whether its industrial, medical or recreational. Pot heads over 21 years old would be allowed to grow up to 36 plants. We would certainly hope that the responsible citizens and voters would have enough good, common sense to realize that legalizing marijuana under any circumstances is not in the best interest of the overall good of this state. Having a bunch of dope heads growing pot in their back yards and toking up a joint instead of taking medication for medical purposes would, in our opinion, simply create unnecessary and troublesome problems. Moving on to the initiative regarding term limits, we find this as an opportunity for the people of Arkansas to repeal Issue 3 that they mistakenly or unknowingly passed in 2014. Issue 3 allowed lawmakers to serve up to 16 years in the House, Senate or combination of terms in both. Before 2014 lawmakers had been limited to six years in the House and eight years in the Senate. Some senators have even been able to service 10 years if they drew a two-year term after winning in the election after once-per-decade redistricting. This is an initiative we seriously hope voters do take seriously and realize the errors of their ways when they originally approved Issue 3 back in 2014.

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