Plans to legalise marijuana in Arkansas have been scuppered - by spelling errors and “ambiguities in text”.
Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, said “errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling” were the reason behind her rejection of the constitutional amendment, the Associated Press reports.
The proposal, written by Marry Berry, a resident of Summit, Arkansas, called for all residents to cultivate, produce, possess and use cannabis and anything produced from the plant.
Phrases queried in the proposal by Ms Rutledge included: "Any person eighteen (18) years of age and older", to which she said the “and” should have been “or”, Russia Today reports.
The phrase, “all products derived from the cannabis plant”, was declared ambiguous by Ms Rutledge, who said the products could also include other ingredients and create a potential loophole in other laws.
“State laws as it pertains to marijuana" and "number of license" were also said to be grammatically incorrect by Ms Rutledge.
Ms Berry has been told to resubmit the measure and ballot title.
In 2012, voters in Arkansas narrowly declined the legalisation of medical marijuana with 48.56 per cent approval.
Where cannabis is and isn't legal
Where cannabis is and isn't legal
Having been reclassified in 2009 from a Class C to a Class B drug, cannabis is now the most used illegal drug within the United Kingdom. The UK is also, however, the only country where Sativex – a prescribed drug that helps to combat muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis and contains some ingredients that are also found in cannabis - is licensed as a treatment
2/12 North Korea
Although many people believe the consumption of cannabis in North Korea to be legal, the official law regarding the drug has never been made entirely clear whilst under Kim Jong Un’s regime. However, it is said that the North Korean leader himself has openly said that he does not consider cannabis to be a drug and his regime doesn’t take any issue with the consumption or sale of the drug
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In the Netherlands smoking cannabis is legal, given that it is smoked within the designated ‘smoking areas’ and you don’t possess more than 5 grams for personal use. It is also legal to sell the substance, but only in specified coffee shops
Although in some states of America cannabis has now been legalised, prior to the legalisation, police in the U.S. could make a marijuana-related arrest every 42 seconds, according to US News and World Report. The country also used to spend around $3.6 billion a year enforcing marijuana law, the American Civil Liberties Union notes
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Despite cannabis being officially illegal in Spain, the European hotspot has recently started to be branded, ‘the new Amsterdam’. This is because across Spain there are over 700 ‘Cannabis Clubs’ – these are considered legal venues to consume cannabis in because the consumption of the drug is in private, and not in public. These figures have risen dramatically in the last three years – in 2010 there were just 40 Cannabis Clubs in the whole of Spain. Recent figures also show that in Catalonia alone there are 165,000 registered members of cannabis clubs – this amounts to over 5 million euros (£4 million) in revenue each month
In December 2013, the House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill legalizing and regulating the production and sale of the drug. But the president has since postponed the legalization of cannabis until to 2015 and when it is made legal, it will be the authorities who will grow the cannabis that can be sold legally. Buyers must be 18 or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with the authorities
Despite the fact that laws prohibiting the sale and misuse of cannabis exist and is considered a habit only entertained by lower-income groups, it is very rarely enforced. The occasional use of cannabis in community gatherings is broadly tolerated as a centuries old custom. The open use of cannabis by Sufis and Hindus as a means to induce euphoria has never been challenged by the state. Further, large tracts of cannabis grow unchecked in the wild
In 2001, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs, and started treating drug users as sick people, instead of criminals. However, you can still be arrested or assigned mandatory rehab if you are caught several times in possession of drugs
9/12 Puerto Rico
Although the use of cannabis is currently illegal, it is said that Puerto Rico are in the process of decriminalising it
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The US state became the first in the country to legalise marijuana in January 2014. In February 2015, President Obama recently said he expects to see more states "looking into" legalisation. However, it is illegally to grow more than six cannabis plants and to possess more than 28 grams of the drug
Oaksterdam in Oakland, California, is the world's only university dedicated to the study and cultivation of cannabis. If you are court in California with anything up to an ounce of cannabis, you will be fine $100, but you will not get a criminal record, nor will you have to appear in court
Cannabis is grown in the wild and has been used to treat conditions such as gout and malaria. But, officially the substance is illegal to consume, possess and sell
A further campaign, called “The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act”, was certified by the Arkansas Attorney General in 2014 and is collecting signatures.
Currently, first-time marijuana possession of fewer than four ounces with a misdemeanour, can lead to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500 in Arkansas. A repeat offence can lead to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
A poll, released last week by Gallup, found 58 per cent of Americans believe cannabis should be legal in the US.
Younger people were more supportive of legalisation use than those of older generations, according to the poll, although older generations were found to be more supportive now than in the past.Reuse content