The Arkansas Supreme Court declared that a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medicinal marijuana could remain on the ballot for this November.
Known as Issue No. 5, the 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 patient to have up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana without the threat of prosecution.
Saying the Supreme Court saw through opponents’ “technicalities and loopholes,” Arkansans for Compassionate Care spokesman Christopher Kell said, “We’re happy to have this legal issue behind us and look forward to educating the people of Arkansas on the medicinal properties of marijuana and how the patients of this state will benefit when this issue passes.”
A Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll taken Thursday, July 19 among 585 likely Arkansas voters found that 47% supported the medicinal marijuana proposal, while 46% said they opposed it. About 7% were undecided. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4%.
KUAR-FM 89 News spoke with the measure’s opponents, who brought the lawsuit to keep it off the November ballot.
After losing in the Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday, conservative groups say they will continue their campaign against efforts to legalize medical marijuana in hopes of winning in the “court of public opinion.”
Voters in the state will get to decide the future of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act this November, now that the high court upheld a proposed ballot measure to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.
Justices denied a petition to block a vote on the initiative saying the ballot title was sufficient. The complaint was filed by the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values and Jerry Cox, the head of the Family Council.
Read more comments from Cox and Page at this link.