According to Martin, Arkansas for Compassionate Care (ACC) submitted well more than 77,516 valid signatures, the number required to put their initiative to a vote of the people. ACC is the group behind a 2012’s Issue 5, a medical cannabis legalization initiative that was narrowly defeated in the general election, receiving 48.56% of the vote.
According Melissa Fults, ACC’s campaign director, their initiative “allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with certain debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions. This includes conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s—but more importantly, it includes devastating conditions left out of the AMMA [a separate initiative trying to make the November ballot] like lupus, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.” Patients would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces.
The initiative also authorizes state-licensed dispensaries as a means of safe access for patients (a total of 38 being allowed throughout the state). Patients who live 20 or more miles from a dispensary would be authorized to cultivate up to five mature cannabis plants and five seedlings.
According to polling conducted by Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College/Impact Management Group – released in September – 84% of voters in Arkansas support legalizing medical cannabis.