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NORML National Board Endorses Medical Cannabis Act in Arkansas

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel September 22, 2016

    The test should be, “Is it better than Prohibition.” Does the proposal stop the arrest of smokers and establish a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana?

    At our board meeting in Boson held this past Friday, in conjunction with the Boston Freedom Rally, the board voted to endorse the 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, sponsored by the Arkansans for Compassionate Care. This initiative would establish 38 non-profit medical cannabis centers across the state, and would function like most of the standard medical use laws in effect across the country, requiring a patient to receive a written recommendation for an Arkansas licensed physician and obtain a medical use card from the state permitting them to purchase marijuana from one of the licensed dispensaries for a wide range of ailments and conditions. Or if a patient lives more than 5 miles from a licensed dispensary they would be permitted to cultivate up to six plants in a secured facility.

    The attorney representing the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act is long-time NORML Legal Committee member, John Wesley Hall from Little Rock.

     A second proposed medical use initiative has also qualified for the November ballot, proposing a Constitutional amendment permitting the medical use of marijuana (The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment). This second proposal is far more restrictive than the first in terms of the list of conditions for which marijuana could be recommended, and does not permit personal cultivation. It is not clear why the sponsors wished to propose this as a Constitutional amendment, as a simple act would require a 2/3 vote by the legislature to reverse it, and our opponents do not have the support in the state legislature to accomplish that.

    As a result, the NORML board felt the Aransas Medical Cannabis Act is a more consumer-friendly proposal and elected to endorse it.

     Strange Suit Filed By Misguided Attorney

    Also, one misguided defense attorney, apparently acting as a surrogate for the sponsors of the Constitutional amendment, has filed suit against the Act that had previously qualified, challenging their signatures. The misguided individual alleged in her law suit that she is a NORML Legal Committee Life Member (although she did not allege that NORML has joined or supported her suit), but she does not attempt to explain why she would oppose a well-drafted medical use initiative that appears to have a good chance to be approved by the voters.

     The NORML board of directors wanted to make it clear that NORML is not involved in this suit, nor do we think it is a helpful strategy.

    15 Responses to “NORML National Board Endorses Medical Cannabis Act in Arkansas”

    1. Julian says:

      Thanks for clearing that up. Watch out for the surrogates! A.K.A. Devil’s Advocates…

    2. Thomas says:

      Congratulations, Nashville! First city in Tennessee to decriminalize. The mayor said she’ll sign it into law by the end of the week. We still have work to do, but today we toast ( or roast)!

    3. Anonymous says:

      If you live in Ar, please vote yes for BOTH referendums. What will happen is the one with the MOST VOTE will become law. It is VERY important to vote for both, as it seems there is some confusion about voting yes for one and no for the other. Make absolutely you vote yes for BOTH referendums.

      • Gerald Martin says:

        Please do not vote for both. YES on Issue 7 (Medical Cannabis) and NO on Issue 6 (Medical Marijuana).

        Issue 7 is the good one.

      • Bethany says:

        #7ONLY DON’T SPLIT THE VOTES!!! #7ONLY NATURAL MEDICINE FOR THE NATURAL STATE!

      • Kelly says:

        It is extremely important that people do not follow this misguided advice. If both pass, it will be up to the State to determine which goes into effect. The other is so restricted that there will be thousands of people in need of treatment that will not be allowed to have it and even if they can, most will not be able to afford it. Issue 7 is for patient’s benefit. It guarantees affordable prices and even allows for Limited personal Cultivation. By voting Yes on both, you are NOT ensuring that at least one passes, instead, you’re basically cancelling out both votes.

        Vote YES to 7 ONLY

        [Paul Armentano responds: If both initiatives receive more than 50 percent of the vote, then the measure with the highest vote tally takes effect. See: http://talkbusiness.net/2016/07/medical-marijuana-the-one-with-the-most-votes-wins-probably/ “If conflicting measures initiated or referred to the people shall be approved by a majority of the votes severally cast for and against the same at the same election, the one receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall become law.” At present, voter support is slightly above 50 percent for the Medical Marijuana amendment (I-6), but below 50 percent support for the Medical Cannabis Act (I-7): https://www.marijuanatimes.org/the-latest-polls-show-arkansans-understand-both-medical-marijuana-initiatives/.

    4. Nomad says:

      All for legalization; that being said, I do not support any legislation that will allow medical marijuana. The Medical Marijuana industry if allowed to blossom will caused a black market due to the potency of those strains. If we legalize it those people who rightfully have the choice to consume can; and if they want to, grow strains and experiment as they see fit. Medical strains are NOT NATURAL they are manufacture just like those dammed pills from the Pharm companies.

    5. MR. CC says:

      Yes, on both to pass one or the other. Also keep in mind that senator Boozman and all the other establishment republicans in Arkansas are against ANY marijuana legislation.

      • Kelly says:

        Voting yes on both will cancel out your vote. Vote yes to only one and the obvious better choice for the patients is the one that treats more illnesses, guarantees affordable prices, and even allows for Limited personal Cultivation.

        Vote YES for Issue 7 only!

    6. Anonymous says:

      The 2016 text actually states that the mileage is 20 rather than 5 miles as mentioned here.

    7. Anonymous says:

      The 2016 text actually states that the mileage will be 20 rather than the 5 miles mentioned here.

    8. LaRee treece says:

      You have to live 20 miles away from a cannabis care center and a vote for issue 7 is a vote for patients a vote for 6 is a vote to monopolize my medicine not a good idea for suffering patients who can’t afford their medical cannabis

    9. Gerald Martin says:

      Please do not vote for issue 6 (medical marijuana), instead vote yes on number 7 (medical cannabis).

    10. Bethany says:

      Vote YES on 7 ONLY!!! WE CAN’T SPLIT THE VOTES! IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO CAUSE US TO LOOSE OUR CHANCE IN 2016! ##7ONLY NATURAL MEDICINE FOR THE NATURAL STATE!

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