Will Arkansas legalize marijuana tonight?

By: - November 8, 2022 7:04 pm

For many, the most interesting race in Arkansas tonight is whether the state will legalize cannabis for adult use.

It’s also expected to be one of the tightest contests in the Natural State.

We’re one of five states voting on recreational marijuana today, and we’d be the 20th state to legalize the drug.

The Issue 4 campaign has been so interesting because it really hasn’t been about whether most Arkansans want to legalize marijuana (polling suggests they do). It has been more about whether marijuana proponents are OK with a what national experts have told me is an amendment that includes “heavy-handed” handouts to existing medical marijuana companies.

Can a coalition of social conservatives and liberals who see Issue 4 as a monopoly in the making defeat it?

We’ll know soon enough, but public polling has not been favorable.

When Talk Business and Politics first polled the issue in September, it found 58% of 834 likely voters supported Issue 4.

Talk Business’ most recent poll in mid-October showed the margin has slimmed considerably, with 50.5% of the 974 likely voters surveyed in favor of Issue 4.

The Arkansas Poll, released annually by the University of Arkansas Political Science Department, found a shocking 41% support for Issue 4 among the 801 Arkansans it interviewed by phone during the second half of October.

But as one savvy pollster told me: “Polls aren’t elections.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. He spent the better part of the last decade investigating and reporting on Arkansas government and politics. For three years, he covered education policy, medical marijuana and the Arkansas General Assembly as part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Capitol Bureau. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. Hunter got his start in journalism covering sports for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.

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