Arkansas group collecting signatures to place initiative on November 2012 ballot
The Arkansas Legislature never took up medical marijuana in 2011, and there’s little optimism that it will do so in 2012. Fortunately, Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) is working to make sure the voters of Arkansas get a chance to do what the legislature has been unwilling to – remove criminal penalties for the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel certified the initiative in April. ACC has until July 6, 2012 to collect 62,507 valid signatures to place the initiative on the November 2012 ballot, and the latest reports have them roughly one-third of the way toward that number.
The initiative would allow patients with serious illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD whose doctors recommend medical marijuana to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. It would also allow patients to purchase marijuana from one of up to about 30 dispensaries in the state, though patients who don’t live near a dispensary would be able to grow their own or designate a caregiver to grow it for them.
So what can you do to help? First and foremost, we need patients to get involved. If you or someone you know is suffering from a serious illness and could benefit from such a law, please send us an email. If you are a law enforcement officer, physician, or clergy member, you too should get involved, as you can also have a powerful impact on the debate.