A citizen-driven initiative that would allow Arkansas doctors to recommend medical cannabis for sick and dying patients has been removed from the November ballot due to lack of valid signatures.
If voters would have approved the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, their state would join 25 others and Washington D.C. in allowing doctors to write recommendations for cannabis to alleviate specified medical conditions.
According to ballotpedia.org, “Issue 7 would legalize marijuana for medical use in Arkansas. The measure would allow for the establishment and regulation of not-for-profit marijuana dispensaries. Labs would test marijuana quality. State and local sales taxes would be applied to medical marijuana. Revenue from these taxes would be allocated to providing low-income patients with medical marijuana. Patients who live more than 20 miles from the nearest dispensary would be permitted to grow marijuana for personal use. The Arkansas Department of Health would oversee the medical marijuana program.”
The Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified the medical marijuana proposal because it found that not enough qualified signatures were gathered.
The court rejected more than 12,000 signatures due to multiple reasons such as the signatures did not include an address, or included only a P.O. Box address, the canvasser verified the petition before the voter signed it, the canvasser checked an improper box, and canvassers did not specifically witness the signatures.
After 12,000 signatures were rejected, it left 65,412 valid signatures. That caused Issue 7 to fall 2,465 short of the required number, and consequently was removed from the November ballot.
The proposal removed appears as Issue 7 which was The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Issue 6 will remain on November’s ballot.
According to ballotpedia.org, “Issue 6 is an initiated constitutional amendment known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. As the measure is an amendment, the Arkansas Legislature would not be allowed to make medical marijuana illegal again without voter approval.”