by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Arkansas voters will decide this November on a statewide initiative to permit qualified physician-authorized patients to possess and cultivate cannabis.
The Secretary of State’s office today affirmed that proponents, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, submitted sufficient signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act establishes a statewide program for the licensed production, analytic testing, and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Under the program, patients diagnosed by a physician with one of over 50 qualifying conditions may obtain cannabis from one of up to 38 licensed non-profit care centers. Qualified patients who do not have a center operating in their vicinity will be permitted to obtain a ‘hardship certificate’ in order to cultivate their own medicine at home.
A similar initiative narrowly failed in the state in 2012, garnering over 48 percent of the vote.
Separate statewide medical use measures will be decided by voters this November in Florida and Missouri. Initiatives to permit the adult use of cannabis will be decided on in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. A Michigan initiative remains in litigation.