The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
As is customary, the denial came in a brief per curiam order without elaboration. Chief Justice Howard Brill and Justice Paul Danielson, who dissented from the earlier ruling, would have granted a rehearing.
This mean votes on Issue 7 definitely will not be counted. A federal judge considering another suit is being asked to give early voters another chance to vote because voters for 7, thinking it was still on the ballot might have voted against Issue 6, a marijuana amendment. So that complication remains.
Federal Judge James Moody Jr. is considering the separate lawsuit seeking injunctive relief in the form, first, of better notice at polling places in Arkansas that, as it stands, votes for Issue 7 won’t count. This lawsuit is a bid to push backers of medical marijuana to vote favorably on Issue 6, the medical marijuana amendment, which remains on the ballot. The suit also asks for a revote for the more than 100,000 voters who voted before the Supreme Court struck Issue 7. Due process rights were violated by voters being given a ballot with competing issues, one of which would later be disqualified, the suit argues.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group backing Issue 7, will hold a silent protest in front of the Governor’s Mansion from 5 to 9 p.m. “We will be silent in person as they have made us in the voting booth,” said a note from organizers.
The group has urged voters to back Issue 6 if it is the only issue remaining on the ballot.