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Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiatives Aim at 2014

Two separate medical marijuana initiative campaigns aimed at the November 2014 ballot are underway in Arkansas. A similar effort to legalize medical marijuana failed in 2012, but came surprisingly close, winning 48.5% of the vote, and encouraging Arkansas activists to try again.

On Wednesday, Arkansas Secretary of State Dustin McDaniel (D) approved the language for one of the initiatives, meaning organizers can now commence the signature-gathering phase, but rejected the language for the other, meaning campaigners will have to resubmit after addressing McDaniel's concerns.

The initiative that was approved is sponsored by Arkansans for Responsible Medicine, and would allow patients with a doctors' approval to use marijuana and purchase it through state-regulated dispensaries, but not grow their own.

David Crouch, a spokesman for the group, said home cultivation was removed because that provision caused the 2012 initiative to fail.

"There was a poll conducted after the election, and 15-20% of people that voted against the proposal last time said they would probably vote for it had it not been for the grow your own," he told Arkansas Matters last month.

Arkansans for Responsible Medicine how has until next July to gather just more than 62,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. Crouch said the group will employ paid signature-gatherers and try to get past that hurdle in a hurry.

"We want to collect our signatures in a hurry and then we can use our people for the campaign and not worry about collecting signatures for a year and a half," Crouch told Arkansas Matters Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a second initiative campaign led by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which would allow patients to grow their own in limited circumstances, must resubmit its ballot title and language and be approved before it can begin signature gathering.

A spokesperson for the group said it will make the ballot and, this time, it will win.

Melissa Fults with Arkansans for Compassionate Care says she is not concerned with the possibility of two marijuana proposals on the ballot in 2014.

"I think that we will stand out," said Melissa Fults. "Like last time we will be on the ballot, only this time I think we will definitely succeed and it will be passed and the people in Arkansas that desperately need this medicine will have it."

Little Rock, AR
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Can`t Grow Your Own

Yea , if you only have 2 years to live , why grow your own when you can buy it from the State ? Too sick to work ? Medicare won`t pay for it . Got a fat $$$ account maybe ? If not , then who pays ? You can have this " Plant Medicine " , but you have to buy it from us . God forbid that your sick arse fall down and get hurt while tending to a plant inside or outside your own home . It`s funny at how people vote against their own best interest . 

borden's picture

Kickback, I assume the

Kickback, I assume the sponsors have written the initiative in a way that's intended to pass, given that a second defeat in as many years would harm the interest of patients and of the issue -- patients would continue to have no protections under the law in Arkansas, as is the case now, rather than some. It's likely the sponsors did research to test out how different provisions are likely to go over with the voters, although I haven't looked closely enough to know that they have.

Of course the sponsors and whoever has done research for or advised them could be wrong on that point, but that is something that's hard to be able to guess at from the outside with no information. If you're the person making the judgment call, you have the responsibility to do the best job you can, and part of that is making the best and most informed guess as to what will or won't pass in your state. No one is able to know for sure in advance, but we know what didn't pass the last time.

borden's picture

Apologies, kickback, I didn't

Apologies, kickback, I didn't look very carefully before posting. Now I realize that you were critiquing the voters in Arizona, not the initiative organizers. I imagine people who voted against home growing are not patients themselves...

I will oppose the bill, that doesn't allow patients to grow

I voted for the 2012 Initiative, that allowed the patient, or a caregiver, to grow up to 6 flowering plants, and maintain more in veg state.  I will not vote for a measure, that requires medicine to be purchased from a dispensary, and does not allow the patient to grow their own meds.  This new prop, is not sponsered by the same people, as the last, and I believe that they are going on a flawed premise, that the measure failed last time because of the "Grow your own" provision. 

As a resident of Arkansas, I know, that the reason the first prop failed, wasn't because of the "Grow your own provision", but because too many people who would have voted for it, were not registered to vote, on time.  They have since registered, so that they can vote for it, this time.  But many of us, will not vote for it, without the grow your own provision. 



vote no against grow your own

Vote NO against grow your own.  It's almost guaranteed to pass when you take out grow your own, and you'll get influential endorsements and money support-government, cops, politicians, priests, etc.  they don't want grow your own flooding the streets and everyone knows that is what will happen.

My daddy may not have til

My daddy may not have til November to be able to try it with the possibility of it helping. He has Lou Gehrig's disease and it could possibly prolong his life. Why not give it a chance? It could seriously help people. And it is no worse than any narcotics already out!

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