It is official, this November the voters of Arkansas will have the opportunity to approve medical marijuana in their state. Yesterday the Arkansas Secretary of State certified that the Arkansans for Compassionate Care submitted at least 69,000 valid signatures for the ballot initiative, which is more than the 62,507 minimum requirement. As a result, their initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, will be voted on by the people of the state during the general election. Via Twitter:
If the initiative is approved by voters it would make it legal under state law for individual with specific conditions to use medical marijuana, with a recommendation from from a doctor. The initiative could also allow a limited number of non-profit dispensaries to be created to supply patients with their medical marijuana. It is modeled after the medical marijuana law in Maine.
This makes Arkansas the second state this year to have a medical marijuana initiative certified for the November ballot. Earlier this year a similar initiative was certified to appear on the November ballot in Massachusetts.
If the people of Arkansas vote for medical marijuana they will join the 17 other states plus the District of Columbia which currently allow patients to legally use marijuana for medical reasons. Importantly, it will make Arkansas the only Southern state that allows medical marijuana. Having a medical marijuana ballot initiative win approval even in a traditionally conservative state, like Arkansas, would be a powerful signal that medical marijuana has broad appeal across the entire country.