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Increased Traffic Fatalities

Claim: Opponents of reform claim that ending the prohibition of cannabis leads to increases in traffic fatalities or more impaired driving-related fatalities.

 

Fact: A 2017 American Journal of Public Health study found similar crash rates in legalization and non-legalization states. There is no evidence that legal marijuana increases traffic fatalities.

 

https://www.mpp.org/issues/criminal-justice/legalization-traffic-fatalities/

2

50% of Newborns Test Positive For THC

Claim: Opponents of reform claim that ending the prohibition of cannabis leads to 50% of newborns testing positive for marijuana.

 

Fact: Newborns “who were drug tested” is a crucial phrase often absent from the statistic when it has been repeated in the community by politicians and anti-cannabis officials. Because the numbers show that of the 52 babies born at St. Mary’s that month, only 11 were drug tested, and of those 11, five were positive for THC.

 

https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/number-of-newborns-exposed-to-pot-in-coloorado-exaggerated-but-data-lacking/article_2f698a51-4ac2-5bd8-960b-dc219a38ed91.html

3

No Legislative Authority Over the Issue

Claim: Opponents claim there will be no regulatory authority over Issue 4 or the Adult Use Cannabis Amendment.

 

Fact: This industry is one of the most tightly regulated in Arkansas and is far more regulated than most states. The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will continue to regulate the operation of licensed facilities, including security requirements, inventory control, and employee licensing. It will also be in charge of licensing new adult-use facilities. In addition, the Department of Health will continue to regulate testing requirements, laboratories, and the patients and physicians under the medical program.

4

The Tax Rate Is Too Low

Claim: Opponents of reform claim that the taxes at the point of sale will be too low and that the tax is half the rate of Colorado’s.

 

Fact: Tax rates for adult use sales will be 10% plus the local city and county taxes, totaling roughly 20% in most localities. This tax rate is approximately the median of other states’ tax rates – Colorado has a 15% retail tax. Tax rates that elevate the price of legal marijuana significantly above black-market prices prolong the presence of illegal markets and reduce government tax receipts.

 

https://www.ncsl.org/research/fiscal-policy/update-on-state-cannabis-taxation.aspx#:~:text=10%25%20of%20purchase%20price%E2%80%94cannabis,with%20THC%20level%20above%2035%25 

5

An Owner of Less Than 5% of a Cultivation License Does Not Need to Complete a Background Check

Claim: An individual or group of people who can not pass a background check will get together and have ownership in several dispensaries.

 

Fact: All owners must be identified and provide background information to ABC, which has the authority to investigate any aspect of concern. In addition, anyone who will have access to the physical facility must pass a background check.

6

Drug Cartels Will Make Money if Issue 4 Passes

Claim: An individual or group of people who can not pass a background check will get together and have ownership in several dispensaries.

 

Fact: As more U.S. states move to legalize marijuana in some form—and neighboring Canada’s cannabis market matures—demand for illicit marijuana from Mexico continues to drop.

 

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/congressional-researchers-say-marijuana-legalization-movement-is-undermining-mexican-cartel-profits/

7

Sets Up an Uncontrollable Monopoly

Claim: The amendment will not allow the legislature, cities or counties to pass laws regulating marijuana.

 

Fact: The amendment requires the state to regulate the industry in many different areas, including security, inventory, child-resistant packaging, labeling, licensing, locations, and other operational aspects. Cities and counties can prohibit retail sales, in the same manner, our constitution provides to prohibit medical marijuana or alcohol sales.

8

Black Market Products will be Sold in Dispensaries

Claim: There are no safeguards to prevent black market products from being sold in dispensaries.  

 

Fact: The amendment and the regulations to be issued by ABC require strict inventory tracking from the time a seed is planted to the ultimate purchaser. No product can enter or leave a licensed facility without ABC’s knowledge.

9

Hemp Will Only Be Sold in Dispensaries

Claim: Hemp will only be allowed to be sold in dispensaries, and hemp stores will be out of business.

 

Fact: This is a theory raised in the lawsuit over Issue 4 in front of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and the Court flatly rejected it. It simply does not hold water.

 

RGA has no intention or desire to change the existing hemp industry. Therefore, the amendment does not include or mention hemp, the hemp program, the Farm Bill, or any other aspect of the existing hemp regulatory structure. The definition of “hemp” was established by federal law in the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, and the amendment does not attempt to change or contradict that – which it could not do even if it tried. Further, the Farm Bill authorized the states to establish hemp research programs with their own regulatory structure. Arkansas has done so under the purview of the Department of Agriculture, and nothing in the amendment references or changes any aspect of those laws, regulations, and licenses.

10

The Adult Use Cannabis Amendment Does Not Include Expungement

Claim: The Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment does not include expungements. 

 

Fact: In Arkansas, the ballot title sufficiency test makes it nearly impossible to include sentencing in the same measure as possession and sale of cannabis. 

 

Several past petitions that qualified by signature were disqualified for insufficient ballot title. However, the AAUCA was not because its title was constitutionally sufficient. If the AAUCA passes, RGA’s team will be dedicated to pushing for expungements of cannabis crimes. RGA is working with legislators to draft a comprehensive expungement bill for those convicted of simple possession of cannabis.

11

It Only Benefits the Existing Industry - No New Businesses Will Be Allowed

That is an argument from people who oppose all legalization. Actually, this amendment will more than double the number of licenses available to new businesses and ownership. There will be a total of 52 brand new licenses that are not affiliated with anyone in the industry currently, including 40 new dispensary licenses and 12 new cultivator licenses. These licenses will be issued by lottery, ensuring that everyone gets a fair chance at receiving one.

12

Eliminates All Taxes On Sales

The only taxes eliminated are on the medical sales, because we don’t believe that patients should have to pay taxes on their medicine. There is a new tax on adult use sales that is expected to triple the amount of tax collected by the state, counties and cities.

13

There Will Be No Limit ON THC Content

The amendment removes the medical program’s existing limit on THC content in edible products so that ABC can pass rules with consistent limits on both medical and adult use products. ABC has the authority to regulate this.

14

This Program Is Targeted To Children

To the contrary, the amendment prohibits any advertising or packaging that appeals to children and instructs ABC to issue regulations to make sure that does not happen.