LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Supporters of Arkansas medical marijuana turned in thousands of signatures Monday in an effort to put their legalization proposal on the states ballot this fall, and called on backers of a competing ballot measure to end their campaign.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care submitted 117,469 signatures to the secretary of states office, which has 30 days to review the petitions and determine whether the group has the 67,887 needed from registered voters to get its proposed initiated act on the ballot. It would legalize medical marijuana for patients with qualifying medical conditions with a doctors recommendation.
The patients of Arkansas deserve a safer alternative, Melissa Fults, the groups campaign director, said at a news conference at the Capitol. They should not have to choose between treating their illnesses or breaking the law.
Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana four years ago. Fults said she believes theres still strong support for medical marijuana, but urged backers of a competing proposal to drop their campaign and join her groups effort.
Putting both measures on the ballot will absolutely cause both to fail, Fults said.
Little Rock attorney David Couch, who is gathering signatures for the competing proposal, said he had no plans to drop it and that he doubted Fults measure would qualify for the ballot. Couch said hes gathered more than 50,000 signatures from registered voters for his proposed constitutional amendment, which needs at least 84,859 to qualify.
I think it would be foolish for us to stop now, Couch said. We wouldnt anyhow because we think we have the better proposal.
The Family Council Action Committee ...