Medical marijuana is a hot topic on the ballot in Arkansas this November.
If the Medical Marijuana Act passes it would allow patients with qualifying conditions to buy the drug from an approved dispensary with a doctor’s approval.
According to the proposal patients must have a condition approved by the Arkansas Department of Health. Patients must be at least 18-years-old or have parental consent, have a written note from a doctor, and carry an active identification card.
Ed Barham with the Arkansas Department of Health told 5NEWS qualified medical conditions will be difficult to outline. “The law leaves some gray areas that we would have to write regulations for,” said Barham.
The proposal states qualified patients must have a chronic or debilitating disease. They include cancer, Glaucoma, positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Tourette’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Fibromyalgia, agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease, or the treatment of these conditions.
Patients with medical marijuana identification cards cannot drive while under the influence, cannot use at work, and can be banned from using in public places.
Patients cannot carry more than two and a half ounces. As long as they comply, they cannot be arrested.
If the act passes, patients cannot be discriminated, lose their jobs, kicked out of school or rental properties.
If voters approve the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, it is not clear when it would take effect.
Barham says it may take months to sort out regulations. “We’ll be looking at other states to see what the best practices are to find out what they have done,” he said.
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law.