Arkansas voters rejected a medical marijuana initiative in 2012. Initially two initiatives made the ballot in Arkansas for the 2016 Election – Issue 7 and Issue 6. After a controversial legal challenge, Issue 7 was stricken from the ballot. Today Arkansas voters approved Issue 6 which legalizes medical marijuana.
Issue 6 is not as good as Issue 7, but Issue 6 is what passed, and some safe access is better than no safe access. Hopefully this is the first step towards providing comprehensive safe access in Arkansas. This is good news for suffering patients! Below is a quote from Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority about the results followed by a summary of the initiative that was passed in Arkansas today via Ballotpedia (the full text can be found at this link here):
“With Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota voters all choosing to allow medical marijuana tonight, the federal government will feel greatly increased pressure to reschedule cannabis and finally acknowledge that this plant has medicinal value.“Despite intra-movement divisions as well as confusion and vote-splitting caused by two separate measures appearing on the ballot, Arkansans were able to unite tonight and deliver a clear victory for patients who can benefit from medical marijuana.“Arkansas voters just brought medical cannabis to the South. From here on it will be much easier to get other states on board, particularly Missouri and Oklahoma, both of which are expected to vote on medical marijuana in coming election cycles.”
Issue 6 would legalize marijuana for medical use in Arkansas. The measure would allow for the establishment and regulation of marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities. State and local taxes on sales would be applied to medical marijuana. Revenue from these taxes would be allocated to cover administration costs and then 50 percent would go to the Vocational and Technical Training Special Revenue Fund, 30 percent would go to the General Fund, 10 percent would go to the workforce training programs, 5 percent would go to the Department of Health, 4 percent would go to Alcoholic Beverage Control administrative and enforcement divisions, and 1 percent would go to the Medical Marijuana Commission. Voters would be permitted to ban marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities in their municipalities. Issue 6 would authorize the Arkansas Legislature to amend sections of the amendment, except the sections legalizing medical marijuana and setting the number of dispensaries, by a two-thirds vote.