A bid to legalise marijuana in Arkansas has been rejected based on spelling and other errors in the text, as well as ambiguous wording.
The proposed amendment, which had been written by Marry Berry of Summit, Arkansas, would have legalised the cultivation of cannabis plants and the production and sale of derived goods. On examining the text, however, Leslie Rutledge, the state’s attorney general, rejected the proposal based on the wording. Rutledge indicated several errors, such as the lack of subject-verb agreement in the phrase:
“State laws as it pertains to marijuana”
The text was also found to have nonsensical elements, such as the phrase:
“Any person eighteen (18) years of age and older”
The “and” in the sentence should have been “or”, because a person cannot be 18 years old and older at the same time. Rutledge also reasoned that the proposed amendment was ambiguous and had the potential to create loopholes in other laws.
Four states in the US have currently legalised marijuana, with many more having legalised its use for medical reasons or have decriminalised possession.
This incident shows how important correct wording is to conveying the intended meaning. When writing news feeds yourself, such errors can be difficult to spot, because your mind will often regard the erroneous text as being correct; in other words, you miss a mistake because you read the text as you intended to write it, not how it was actually written. To counter this, many news writing services routinely proofread their writers’ work, because even the best writers can make mistakes.