Ark. Supreme Court rejects challenge to medical marijuana proposal

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act would remain on the November ballot. In August, the Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana filed a petition questioning the legal sufficiency of the measure.

The justices concluded that the lawsuit did not prove that the ballot had insufficient language. In their official opinion, the court stated that "[the ballot] need not include every possible consequence or impact of a proposed measure."

Melanie Conway, on behalf of Arkansans Against Legalize Marijuana, argued six different arguments in total against the measure. Conway in her first argument said that the ballot measure allows patients to use unlimited amounts of marijuana as long as they do not possess more than 2.5 ounces at any time. The court said that the initiative states limits on how much a dispensary can provide.

She continued that Issue 7 did not specify if "cannabis care centers" were going to sell food and drink alongside medical marijuana, but the court reiterated that the ballot did not have to list everything as long as it has "an intelligible idea of the scope of the proposed law."

Spokesperson for Arkansans against Legalized Marijuana and Arkansas Surgeon General, Dr. Greg Bledsoe released a statement on the ruling. Bledsoe once again said that the marijuana plant itself is not medicine.

"Such products that can be used for medical care are already approved and in-use in our state and others," he said. "But such medicine does not have anything to do with smoking a dried up plant known as 'weed', 'pot', 'gonja' and 'boo-yah' -- that is only about drug abuse."

Both measures, as of right now, are still on the November ballot, but Issue 7 faces a second lawsuit before election day. The lawsuit challenges the signature collection process and the Arkansas Supreme Court has until October 18th to make a ruling.

A recent Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College polls has support for medical marijuana in the state at 58%.  In 2012, Arkansans rejected medical marijuana by a 51% - 48% margin.


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