Arkansas’ supporters of medical cannabis turned in thousands of signatures to put the legalization initiative on the state’s ballot this autumn.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care provided 117,469 signatures of supporters of marijuana legalization to the state’s office. Now the office has 30 days to check the petition and see whether it has the necessary 67,887 signatures from registered voters. In the case of positive results of the verification, the proposal to legalize medical cannabis for patients with certain medical conditions may be put on the autumn ballot.
It is worth mentioning that Arkansas voters rejected a similar cannabis legalization initiative four years ago. Although the new proposal still has a lot of supporters, Melissa Fults, the group’s campaign director, urged the backers of the competing measure to stop their campaign and join her group. Fults also stated that putting two similar measures on the ballot could cause complete failure of both.
Little Rock attorney David Couch, the head of the competing campaign, said he was not going to stop his efforts and that he doubted Fults’ initiative would qualify for the ballot. He also said he had collected more than 50,000 signatures from registered voters for his amendment, which needs a minimum of 84,859 to qualify.
However, The Family Council Action Committee, a group that has started a campaign against the legalization measures, said it was going to fight both initiatives in case they qualified for the ballot.
Fults’ group will get another 30 days to collect signatures in case officials confirm the group gathered a minimum of 75 percent of the needed number. Moreover, among other petitions, there is a more far-reaching initiative to legalize cannabis both for recreational and medical purposes.