Arkansas voters reject recreational marijuana

Arkansas voters rejected an amendment that would have legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The measure received 56% of the "no" votes, while just 43% said "yes."

Voters also rejected a measure allowing lawmakers to call a special session. Current law only allows the governor to call for a special session.

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Breanne Davis, gave the Legislature two ways to call for a special session. The Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tem could issue a joint resolution, or two-thirds of both the Senate and the House could agree to a proclamation. Lawmakers would set a specific agenda, just like the governor does, according to the resolution.

Opponents said the measure could have created a full-time Legislature. The measure was opposed by nearly 61% of the voters.

Voters also rejected a measure that would have required 60% approval of ballot amendments instead of a simple majority.

Fifty-nine percent of voters rejected the amendment, while nearly 41% voted "yes."

Also defeated was an amendment that would create an Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment. If approved, the amendment would have provided "that government may never burden a person's freedom of religion except in the rare circumstance that the government demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest."

The issue was narrowly defeated with 50.4% voting against it and 49.56% voting "yes."

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