Legalization Spotlight: Arkansas
The South May be Changing
The South may be changing, according to The Cannabist. It’s undeniable that a cultural shift is underway and that cannabis is gaining mainstream acceptance. However, most of the measurable change has occurred in places like Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. That may be changing very, very soon. We’ve previously reported (twice!) on the nine states that will be voting on cannabis in a few days, but it’s time to point out something very significant: No southern state has legalized even medical marijuana, and now Florida and Arkansas are both primed to become the first. At a minimum, Arkansas legalization seems to be in the works.
Arkansas narrowly voted against medical marijuana just four years ago with 49% for and 51% against. It’s also very exciting because recent polling showed more republicans in favor of legalization than against for the first time ever (45% for legalization, 42% against, 13% undecided). Current polling in Arkansas showed 49% for medical marijuana and 47% against. The vote will definitely be very close, but perhaps the second time’s the charm. And if Arkansas of all places — a state that still has 35 dry counties — manages to legalize medical marijuana, it would signal a huge change in pro-pot movement. John Hudak of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution told The Cannabist, “Right now, you’re probably not dumping money into Tennessee. If Arkansas flips, I think those movements have a better chance (of getting additional funding).”