Arkansas medical pot campaign overshadows other races – The Courier-Express
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Voters might make conservative Arkansas the first Southern state to legalize medical marijuana, which could signal a cultural tipping point suggesting it’s just matter of time before patients nationwide will be able to access the drug to treat certain maladies.
Medical marijuana is already legal in half of the states and voters will decide Tuesday whether to allow or expand it in four others, including two in the South, Arkansas and Florida. Like several other Southern states, Florida already allows certain patients to use a version of the drug that is low in THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana.
Arkansas voters narrowly defeated a similar measure four years ago, and this year’s campaign has led to a last-minute flurry of ads from opponents and supporters and a series of court challenges that disqualified one of the two proposed medical marijuana ballot measures. Here is a look at where things stand with the remaining measure:
TWO PROPOSALS, BUT ONLY ONE COUNTS
Although both medical marijuana ballot measures, Issues 6 and 7, made it onto the ballot, only votes cast on Issue 6 will be counted. The Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified Issue 7 from the ballot after early voting had started, ruling that those behind it didn’t follow state law regarding paid canvassers.
Issue 6 would allow patients diagnosed with qualifying medical conditions to apply for a state-issued registration card that will let them buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. The proposal lists 12 conditions that would qualify, including cancer, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with chronic or debilitating diseases that produces certain symptoms such as seizures or severe nausea. It would also allow the Department of Health to add other qualifying medical conditions.
WHO REGULATES IT?