Ed Schipul

Voters in Arkansas will decide on legalizing cannabis for medicinal use this November, as the proposal spearheaded by Arkansas Compassionate Care garnered enough signatures to be included on ballots, the group announced in a press release.

The measure would allow doctors to recommend cannabis to patients with chronic or life-threatening medical conditions. Individuals with conditions such as cancer, hepatitis C, Chron’s disease, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, lupus, autism and Parkinson’s disease would be eligible under the ACC proposal.

A second initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, is also vying for ballot consideration, which ACC Campaign Director Melissa Fults says would force both to fail if the AMMA was successful.

“…Polling suggests that if both initiatives make the ballot, it’s almost certain that both will fail. Today, as we turn toward November, I’m asking Jason Polk & David Couch to end their campaign and join us to ensure sick and dying Arkansans get the most patient-oriented initiative we can,” she said in the release. “Please do not place thousands of sick and dying Arkansans’ future in jeopardy. Patients need safe and legal access to cannabis and if you continue we risk losing the best chance that we’ve ever had. Placing two initiatives on the ballot will cause both to fail.”   

The ACC sponsored a similar measure in 2012, which failed by just 2 percent. The group submitted 77,516 valid signatures to the Secretary of State, about 10,000 more than required for the initiative’s approval.

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