Arkansas voters narrowly shot down a 2012 initiative that would have legalized medical marijuana in the state. After skipping over the 2014 election, Arkansans for Compassionate Care made the ballot for the second time. The initiative will appear as Issue 7 on the ballot in Arkansas in November. But the initiative won’t be alone. There is a second initiative that has made the ballot, one that isn’t as consumer friendly, but would still be better than prohibition.
It sounds like from a media report via Marijuana Business Daily that once the second initiative made the ballot in Arkansas that the Issue 7 initiative lost out on very substantial donation. According to the media report, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) was about to chip in on a donation with others that would have totaled one million dollars. But, after the second initiative made the ballot, the money was reallocated towards efforts in other states. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
A group of anonymous donors, along with the Marijuana Policy Project, were ready to throw a cumulative $1 million behind a campaign to legalize medical cannabis in Arkansas, but decided to devote the money to campaigns elsewhere after a second MMJ initiative qualified for the state ballot.
That’s according to MPP founder and executive director Rob Kampia, who said he tried to get the leaders of the second campaign – Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana – to pull their initiative for the sake of only having one legalization measure on the fall ballot.
“It’s so incredibly unlikely to pass one of the MMJ initiatives in Arkansas with both appearing on the same ballot that we were unanimous in agreeing to not spend $1 million on a campaign that just became almost impossible to win,” Kampia said. “That agreement was conveyed to the folks who were running the second competing campaign.”
This news makes me sad. A win in Arkansas would be absolutely huge for not just the patients of Arkansas, but for momentum nationwide. The second initiative to make the ballot is not as good as the Issue 7 initiative, mainly because it is a ‘for profit’ type model that doesn’t allow home cultivation. Like I said, the second initiative would be better than prohibition, but it’s not as good for patients as the Arkansans for Compassionate Care version. Issue 7 is going to need all the dollars that they can muster up in order to get the initiative to pass in November, so it’s unfortunate to find out that such a huge donation was missed, and that it appears that MPP has considered the chances of Arkansas legalizing medical marijuana, via either initiative, to be dead. I think that Issue 7 still has a great chance. You can donate to the effort at this link here!