LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One day following the removal of Issue 7 from the November ballot, protesters rallied at the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act would have legalized medical marijuana and supporters are now frustrated, saying their votes won’t count.
“We are strong. We are strong, we will fight, and we will not give up,” said campaign director, Melissa Fults with nearly 200 supporters backing her.
Fults is now hoping to appeal the decision, but said that it is unfortunately too late to help Issue 7.
Since the news broke, fingers have been pointed at Patrick and Kara Benca who challenged Issue 7 based on the validity of signatures submitted to add the measure on the ballot. They released a statement wanting the public to know that they support the legalization of marijuana.
They said Issue 6, The Medical Marijuana Amendment, is a better law that will allow patients to get the drug sooner. Since the item was removed, they've received multiple threats. They also said they filed the petition at the earliest time possible.
Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, who has been against both ballot measures, spoke on Friday morning following the removal of the ballot item.
“12 days from an election, I would have preferred the voters to have a say in this,” said Bledsoe.
He doesn’t want to see medical marijuana pass; instead he wants to see the medicinal components used as treatment.
“We don’t need to be handing out marijuana to get patients the care they need,” he said.
Many protesters are now hoping Issue 6 will pass as the only remaining item that would legalize medical marijuana.