Arkansas Voters Legalize Medical Marijuana

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 9, 2016

    pain_reliefAccording to the Associated Press, voters in Arkansas have approved Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. The AP’s final vote count is 53 to 47 percent.

    “Thanks to the support of Arkansas voters, their state now joins the majority of states in this country in allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana. This will provide patients with access to a safe and effective medicine and apply further pressure on Congress and the incoming administration to bring federal policy in line with the overwhelming will of the American people.” said Erik Altieri, NORML’s new Executive Director.

    Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, amends the state constitution to permit qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Under the law, regulators will license up to 40 dispensary providers and up to eight marijuana cultivators.

    The new law takes effect on November 9, 2016. Regulators have 120 days following the law’s enactment to develop rules overseeing the new medical marijuana program.

    A summary of the Amendment is available here.

    Congratulations Arkansas!

    34 responses to “Arkansas Voters Legalize Medical Marijuana”

    1. Sara Roberts says:

      It wasn’t the amendment 7 like in the picture (when I posted this) that passed it was the more restrictive issue 6. Still better than nothing I guess and if you don’t count Florida we are the first state in the south.

      [Paul Armentano replies: Correct. It was the Amendment that passed, not the Act. We have amended the graphic.]

      • B Neptune says:

        I voted for both amendment 6 & 7. We need a law suit filled to get prop 7 on next Novembers ballot. they should not be able to remove a prop once people vote on it. Prop 6 allows 8 grows and 40 dispensaries. Who will own them? The rich and powerful! The very people against it. They will push prices up and how far will I have to drive for a dispensary? I have chronic pain and don’t want an addictive solution from chemicals with untold side effects. I don’t by illegal cannabis because some is laced with bath salts or meth. Will the government be any different? they need to fix affordable prices and taxes. We need prop 7 back on the ballot. Rewrite it to meet their rules. We know it would pass! When someone says they are anti-legalize cannabis they are in league with the cartels. When alcohol prohibition was repealed organized crime lost a multi-million dollar business. The drug cartels of today don’t want history to repeat. They have millions to spend on supporting anti-drug organizations.
        Thank you for reading this. Please respond and look forward to more post of my views and the facts.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          I understand your concerns, and I think they are valid concerns. However, I also think that this initiative, having passed, represents a huge step forward for the good people of Arkansas.

          Hopefully you will see arrest rates drop dramatically after this, just as they have in other places that have legalized. If you’ve ever been pissed off about the flagrant abuse of power by law enforcement that marijuana prohibition represents, this amendment should bring you some measure of joy.

          Harm Reduction requires us to prioritize our efforts to best ensure progress. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop trying to make things better! I applaud your determination to continue to make things better! Make progress; Lock in your gains; but continue to work the problem. Any arrest for marijuana is an unjust arrest.


        • Biginalabama says:

          Dude I highly doubt anyone is lacing their pot with basalt or meth!! Lmao!!

        • Scott Conver says:

          Why would someone selling cannabis add other drugs such as meth? How on earth would it benefit anyone to put more expensive drugs into your cannabis and then sell them for the normal going rate? Not to mention the fact that if that were to happen, no customer would ever buy their cannabis from that dealer again.
          It seems highly unlikely, to me, that anyone trying to make money by selling cannabis would more than double their overhead cost by adding other drugs and discourage future business by giving customers something that they didn’t ask for.
          I have been a cannabis consumer for over 30 years, both black market and legally, and have never seen or heard of a situation like this actually happening.
          Don’t buy into the misinformation and propaganda that organizations such as the D.A.R.E. program and the DEA want to sell you.

    2. Joe says:

      I have been in pain management since 2002 and have been trying to get on the medical marijuana for years I just moved here from Arizona so I don’t understand what this proposition 6 is if somebody could please explain it to me I have broken my spine and turn both shoulders Beyond repair I can’t be fixed and the pain is unbelievable I don’t understand what this new proposition 6 is all about here and Arkansas and why the legislature has the last word in it

      • B Neptune says:

        They want the legislature to have the final word so they can make it as hard as possible to own a grow or a dispensary. That is why they took prop7 off. If everyone in prison for cannabis was released we would have nation wide legalization. It is a trick Hitler used to gain control. While voting I heard someone say medical cannabis is just a way to get it legal and doctors will prescribe it for everything. However you can go untold to your doctor and complain of nerves , sleeplessness or chronic pain and he will prescribe a chemical with multiple harmful side effects. Another asked if we needed another legal drug. My response was that tobacco , alcohol and sugar are more harmful and addictive. Many of the people I know use alcohol to harmful excess because they can’t legally buy, grow or poses cannabis. Most would also use cannabis to quit smoking tobacco. So yes we do need a new legal drug. Look at the governments own studies that the politicians ignore because they get money from drug cartels and big pharma to keep it illegal. We all need to push for nation wide legalization for recreational cannabis. Let the DEA and the Legal system focus on meth. Thank you for your time and please respond. Also THANK YOU NORML! For the past forty years I have been afraid to stick my neck out and join the fight. I’m pour and can’t afford to help financially but when I have an extra dollar it will find it’s way to you.

    3. Karen Elmore says:

      So, what does this mean for me? I’ve been prescribed and have taken Anti-seizure and strong pain medication for the past 10+ yrs. The Gabapentin(anti-seizure med) that I’m taking is at the top mg amount for it–800 mg. Taking strong pain meds(opiods) because every layer of my back is affected. I deal with nerve damage(jerking limbs, contracting muscles), Lyme disease(includes many debilitating symptoms), adrenal insufficiency and hyperthyroidism, etc..
      Been taking Fentanyl Patch(continuous pain relief), Zanaflex(for muscle spasms) and Norco(for breakthrough pain). Would love to never have to take them again, if MM would take care of it and control my pain level.
      I’m grateful that this law has passed because it gives me hope that it will help me rid a big portion of the medication I take. Hopefully, I will never have to take a pill or patch again, but I’m un-aware of how this is going to work because I’m in a lot of pain and mostly bed-ridden. I don’t know how medical marijuana works, but do know that it controls the mind aspects of things. Wondering, if it will cover my pain and if not, will I lose my other medication because of it. ??
      Another question that I have in mind is that I go to a pain clinic in Ms, to get my pain meds and I live in Ar. So, will they approve me taking the medical marijuana and prescribe it? Or will I have to find another pain clinic located in Ar., to take care of this?
      Thank you!! 🙂

    4. Mark Mitcham says:

      I live in a legal state already, so I was really rooting for all these other state initiatives to pass, because.. Social Justice!

      But I think I was the happiest about Arkansas. You folks really deserve it. I would have been saddened to see another swing and miss. But you did it this time! I can almost smell the celebratory smoke from here!

      Now get the medicine to the patients that need it real bad! Don’t let The Man fuck this up!

    5. charles says:

      It’s a start. With a ex DEA boss as gov were lucky they didn’t pull this act during voting like they did 7. All the rules and regulations haven’t been set yet but with certain medical problems a Doctor’s recommendation you can buy medical marijuana.And it will help with the pain. I take methadone,/morphine for pain. I can reduce my pill intake by half with medical marijuana. And that’s a start. Thank God.

      • I have been on pain medication for over 20 years I am so happy that I don’t have to have a doctor tell me how much pain I have to endure I’m very excited I just wish I knew if it was synthetic or from a real plant

    6. Julian says:

      Congratulations Arkansas! Now THIS is the momentum we need in Texas!

    7. Simon Hardinsky says:

      There is good news. Low on the list of priorities but in the mill for legislation is the rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule I classification to Schedule II. This is all that is needed and President Trump most likely will approve this measure.

      In this way, marijuana products will be available for prescription by physicians in all fifty states to patients for treatment of conditions that benefit from the use of cannabis.

      Thank you,

      Simon Hardinsky

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    9. clemclark says:

      Gov. Hutchinson of Arkansas has made the statement that he is not OK with conflicting state and federal laws on marijuana, and that the federal Gov. needs to take action to come to a solution. I agree.

      • B Neptune says:

        Good points Clemclark. Gov. Hutchinson need to remember he works for us. As does Pres. Trump and the rest of the federal and state elected officials. We are in it for the long fight!

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Hutchinson used to head the DEA, and he is an unabashed drug warrior. Any “solution” he might favor would likely be a big problem for Arkansas medical marijuana patients… if that’s what you mean!

        • bobby sarasets says:

          Hutchinson has announced a $1 million rainy day fund to get this amendment off the ground running. Which means he has skin in the game. Arkansans are pissed off about issue 7 being taken off when it was already approved and signed. A handful of elitists will cash in on this endeavor.