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August 14, 2012

Arkansas voters likely to have opportunity to vote on medical marijuana in 2012

This AP article, which is headlined "Ark. medical marijuana group submits signatures," reports on another state ballot initiative likely to give voters a direct opportunity to participate in pot policy reform. Here are the details:

Backers of an initiative that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Arkansas submitted more than 74,000 additional signatures Monday to the secretary of state's office, though only about a quarter of them need to be valid to get the issue on the November ballot.

The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care was given time to gather more signatures after it submitted 65,413 names on July 5. Only 36,495 names from that batch were certified as being from registered voters, leaving organizers shy of the required 62,507 verified names.

The group's treasurer, Melissa Fults, said organizers learned more about the process after submitting its first batch of signatures. This time, she said, they made sure that volunteers and paid canvassers asked people when and where they last voted before asking them to sign the petition to help ensure the signees were registered voters. "I don't think there's much of a chance we won't" make the Nov. 6 ballot, Fults said....

Fults, of Hensley, said the group wants to convince voters that marijuana is the most appropriate treatment for some illnesses. So does Emily Williams, who said marijuana enabled her to cope with chemotherapy when she was being treated for lymphoma.

Williams, who spoke during a news conference at the Capitol with Faults' group, said she experienced constant nausea and vomiting. She said her doctor wouldn't prescribe marijuana but told her he didn't see the harm because other anti-nausea medications weren't working. "You hurt all over. Everything is just kind of black," the 55-year-old Fayetteville resident said.

Katherine Reynolds of Bella Vista said using marijuana helped her through breast cancer treatment and bone marrow transplants, explaining that it enabled her eat after hospital treatments. She said it was a necessary treatment and thought it absurd that she could be arrested for it. "If I didn't have that, I wouldn't be here talking to you," Reynolds said.

But the measure has drawn a tepid response from politicians. Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, both Democrats, have said they won't actively oppose the measure but that they probably won't vote for it. Spokesmen for Beebe and McDaniel said Monday that their positions have not changed.

The conservative Arkansas Family Council opposes the measure, arguing that marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law, which trumps state law. The group's director, Jerry Cox, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.

August 14, 2012 at 09:25 AM | Permalink


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Thanks for share this great article I would like to share this information that I found in wikipedia

Medical cannabis refers to the parts of the herb cannabis used as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine. The Cannabis plant has a long history of use as medicine, with historical evidence dating back to 2737 BCE. Cannabis is one of the 50 "fundamental" herbs of traditional Chinese medicine, and is prescribed to for a broad range of indications.

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