Issue 6 legalizes, sets rules on medical 'pot' – Arkansas Online
A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana would do so by authorizing a web of state agencies to regulate aspects of the cultivation, distribution, medical use and taxation of the drug.
Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, was one of two ballot proposals to allow people to be treated with marijuana for medical problems ranging from intractable pain to cancer.
The proposal known as Issue 7, or the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, was struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court last month over a challenge to the petitioning process. Because the court decision came after early voting began, both marijuana issues appear on ballots, but only votes for Issue 6 will be counted.
Both medical marijuana proposals have contingents of opponents who balk at the notion that smoking “pot” is sound medicine.
A previous attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas failed narrowly in 2012, with 51 percent voting against legalization.
David Couch, who split from the supporters of the 2012 proposal to draft Issue 6, said he feels confident that those who favor medical use of marijuana will rally around the amendment Tuesday, Election Day.
“I think [the Supreme Court decision] benefits us in multiple ways,” Couch said. “When there are two measures on the ballot that do the same thing, there is some confusion as to which does which.”
Couch split with the group Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the backers of Issue 7, over the proposed initiated act’s “grow-your-own” provision. Under “grow your own,” patients living in rural communities more than 20 miles from a dispensary would have been allowed to grow up to 10 marijuana plants. Couch’s amendment doesn’t include that provision.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment would allow patients, under the direction of