Above: A screenshot of a pro-marijuana advertisement. According to a cease and desist letter from the Little Rock City Attorney’s Office, the ad inappropriately used video footage of Little Rock Police Department officers.

On Tuesday Family Council obtains a copy of a cease and desist letter the Little Rock’s City Attorney sent to Responsible Growth Arkansas on behalf of the Little Rock Policy Department.

The letter asks Responsible Growth Arkansas to immediately stop using TV advertisements for marijuana Issue 4 that include footage of LRPD officers.

Responsible Growth Arkansas is currently conducting a statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Arkansas via Issue 4 that will appear on the ballot this November.

The cease and desist letter ordering the group to stop using video footage of LRPD officers says in part,

Unfortunately, at least one of the advertisements has portions which show Little Rock police officers. Neither the City, nor the Little Rock Police Department has endorsed this effort. The film footage being used is from training films that were created to attract persons to join the police force. The Department has received inquiries as to why it is supporting this constitutional amendment when, in fact, it is not.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the advertisement is still on Responsible Growth Arkansas’ website. The ad apparently used footage from LRPD promotional videos on YouTube without the LRPD’s permission.

TV ads like this one might lead voters to believe that police departments in Arkansas support marijuana Issue 4, but to our knowledge no law enforcement agencies are backing the measure.

As we have said in the past, Issue 4 makes sweeping changes to Arkansas’ constitution and state laws.

It repeals, replaces, and rewrites several parts of Arkansas’ medical marijuana amendment that voters passed in 2016. It adds new language to other parts of the Arkansas Constitution, and it drastically expands marijuana in every community in Arkansas.

Issue 4 eliminates all taxes on medical marijuana, and it sets a very low tax rate on retail marijuana sales. State and local officials won’t be able to raise taxes on marijuana. City councils and quorum courts won’t be able to regulate marijuana use.

It is unclear just how far-reaching some of Issue 4’s language may be.

You can read the cease and desist letter from the LRPD here.

Updated Wednesday, October 12, at 2:05 PM:

According to Arkansas Advocate, Responsible Growth Arkansas responded to the City of Little Rock’s cease and desist on Friday, October 7, declining to withdraw the pro-marijuana ads.

A letter from Responsible Growth Arkansas’ attorney argues that the ads featuring LRPD officers comply with state law, writing, “we see no legal basis for the demand that RGA [Responsible Growth Arkansas] cease and desist from further use of this video.”