Arkansas Sends Medical Marijuana Law To The Ballot
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Arkansas Sends Medical Marijuana Law To The Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on August 24, 2012 at 18:34:20 PT
By Kristen Gwynne
Source: Rolling Stone
Arkansas -- Medical marijuana took one step closer to hitting the South on Wednesday, when Arkansas' Secretary of State office confirmed that the issue will be on the ballot there this November. Arkansans for Compassionate Care handed in 69,000 valid signatures  well over the necessary 62,507  for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, which would set up non-profit organizations to cultivate and sell pot, while allowing patients who live more than five miles from a dispensary to grow their own. The November vote will mark the first time that voters in a Southern state can decide whether to legalize medical pot, and could make Arkansas the U.S.' 18th medical weed state.
The proposed legislation has made Arkansas ground zero for marijuana reform in the South, where weed laws tend to be ultra-harsh. "We are in the Bible Belt  this isn't generally one of the states that is a hotbed for marijuana reform or policy," Ryan Denham, Campaign Director for the ACC, told Opposing Views earlier this year. "If passed, this will send a strong message nationally . . . Marijuana is medicine and it is time we recognize that on a national level." The initiative qualifies medical marijuana for a variety of conditions  including cancer, glaucoma and post-traumatic stress disorder  as well as other diseases that produce symptoms pot is known to help soothe, like nausea, muscle spasms and seizures. While recognizing marijuana's illegality under federal law, the act would exempt from prosecution those who qualify for participation in the Arkansas program. Arkansas has long had some of the strictest weed laws in the U.S., but the state has begun liberalizing its policies in recent years. Two towns  Eureka Springs and Fayetteville  have made personal possession of less than an an ounce a low priority, a non-arrestable offense. And last year, sentencing reforms reduced many weed offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, reducing the number of pot prisoners in a state known for locking them up. Conservative organizations like Arkansas' Family Council may be gearing up for a public relations war now that medical pot is headed to the ballot. "Putting Arkansas in the middle of all of this just doesn't make sense. Why would we want to pass a law that blatantly violates federal law?" Jerry Cox, the council's president, said in a statement this week. "Why would we invite that kind of turmoil to Arkansas?" For now, though, Arkansans' level of support for the initiative is not definitively known. Last month, a poll conducted by Hendrix College and Talk Business found that the state's citizens were evenly split  47 percent in favor of legalizing medical weed and 46 percent against. Source: Rolling Stone (US)Author: Kristen GwynnePublished: August 24, 2012Copyright: 2012 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.Contact: letters rollingstone.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on August 26, 2012 at 09:13:08 PT
Thank you, Afterburner.
:0)I love it that I understand Dylan. 
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on August 26, 2012 at 06:13:04 PT
Hope #4 & 5
Great words of compassion, as usual. Thank you for calling out another prohibitionist and not letting him hide from the consequences of the fear-based propaganda he's promoting.Bob Dylan - It's All Right, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on August 25, 2012 at 20:11:19 PT
I must have deleted something from this ...
I said, "I think he hasn't fully thought out what Arkansas is all out in the middle of."If he has, I'd like him to explain to everyone what he is all freaked out about and offer us acceptable information and studies on the matter. Does he fear that suddenly a huge amount of accidents would be "unleashed" on us? Is he scared beyond the ability to function about who is or would be impaired and when and where, and how much ? Can we measure it? Oh my gosh? Is the so called anti-motivational syndrome scenario worrying him horribly? Those who would like to help humanity as a whole, be concerned about something real and not something sprung from the imagination of the fearful. Care about something real, like restoring dignity and respect, and worthy compensation to workers for the work they do. Their wages aren't a gift. I don't love the idea of people going around stoned, wasted, or wiped out all the time. I don't know if that would be right or not. But I know it's wrong to punish people and hurt them and their families like we've been doing because of prohibition of cannabis. 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on August 25, 2012 at 09:55:45 PT
Jerry Cox
"Putting Arkansas in the middle of all of this just doesn't make sense." Of course it doesn't. A prohibitionist is talking. I think he hasn't fully thought out what Arkansas is all out in the middle of. "Why would we want to pass a law that blatantly violates federal law?" The same prohibitionist. Jerry Cox. Maybe I can help your understanding a bit. It's because enough of your fellow citizens have seen the need to provide some sort of protection to their suffering friends, family, and neighbors, and fellow citizens from overreaching government, and unjust laws, and harsh and invasive, sometimes deadly, enforcement. And they know what it's like to be in a position to be willing to try nearly anything to have some relief from their suffering for a loved one or for themselves.It's about compassion, Mr. Cox, and standing up against a foul injustice.
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Comment #3 posted by Ryannn29 on August 25, 2012 at 08:13:27 PT
5 miles?
That's ridiculous, growers can't be within 5 miles of the dispensary. what dictates people growing is usually how much cheaper it is than buying all the time and for the love of it. 
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on August 25, 2012 at 05:45:38 PT
Incorrect labeling.
 "We are in the Bible Belt&Arkansas' Family Council-0-What are they, who are they, what do they do?-Lead people into thinking it's ok to cage responsible humans and other family members for using a good God-given plant, as stated on the 1st page of the Bible.Perhaps it would be more accurate to label them the Devil Belt and the Arkansas Antifamily Council.
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Comment #1 posted by Paul Pot on August 24, 2012 at 21:39:37 PT:
Enroll to vote
Thanx and congrats to all those involved in putting this initiative on the ballot. 
Please enroll to vote for marijuana reform initiatives in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Arkansas, Montana, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Springfield, MO and Detroit, MI. 
War is Over!
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