By William “Stash” Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
October 28th, 2016 — The Arkansas Supreme Court has disqualified the second of two medical marijuana initiatives that was supposed to be on the November 8th ballot, under two weeks away. In a definitive 5-2 ruling Thursday, the court sided with opponents of the initiative known as Issue 7. The measure would have that would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions obtain a doctor’s “recommendation” to purchase marijuana from dispensaries.
At the time of the ruling, over 142,000 people had already cast their ballots under early voting provisions, which began Monday Oct. 24th.
The justices disqualified over 12,000 signatures, saying the supporters had not followed laws regarding paid canvassers. That decision left the measure just 2,500 votes shy of the required number to be listed on the ballot. No comment was available from the group behind the measure, Arkansans for Compassionate Care.
Arkansas had two measures on their ballot this year, and there has been chatter about whether that would help both be defeated. The group supporting Issue 6, the other initiative, told ABC News that he believes it will be advantageous for their measure, and could make things easier.
“It eliminates some of the confusion on which one to vote for,” David Couch, the head of Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana said. “If you want to help sick and dying patients in Arkansas, then you have to vote for [Issue 6].”
“Honestly, at this point in the stage, 12 days before the election, it sounds kind of strange, but I actually kind of wish it would have gone to the voters and let them vote it up or down at this point,” Arkansas State Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe told ABC News. Bledsoe was is a spokesperson for the anti medical marijuana campaign in Arkansas.
Polling for the remaining measure was good, and with the other measure removed, it has a better chance than ever of passing.
© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.