A group wanting to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes submitted more than 67,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office on Thursday in their bid to qualify for the November ballot.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care needed to submit 62,507 signatures, which must still be validated. Rules for proposed initiated acts and constitutional amendments allow for a “cure” period in which more signatures can be collected during the next 30 days.
The medical marijuana proposal would allow for up to 30 nonprofit dispensaries in Arkansas. Local cities and counties could choose to ban them.
Marijuana would only be available to people with a prescription for certain health conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDs, Alzheimer's disease and several other conditions. The proposal allows for a pa
tient to have up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana without the threat of prosecution.
If it qualifies, expect a major political discussion centered on compassion for the sick versus the morality of anti-drug proponents.
There should be more petition action on Friday (July 6) as supporters of a severance tax increase, casino gambling and ethics reform are all pushing to qualify measures for the ballot.
UPDATE 1: Casino supporters for the effort led by Nancy Todd delivered their signature petitions to the capitol on Friday morning.
UPDATE 2: Sheffield Nelson says he will deliver more than enough signatures for his severance tax hike proposal at 1:30 pm today.
UPDATE 3: Supporters of an ethics reform initiative say they will fall short of their needed goal of 62,507.