Effort To Legalize Medicinal Marijuana In Arkansas Falls Short

Arkansas voters won’t be able to cast a ballot this year on legalizing medical marijuana.

The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care says they’ll be back out gathering signatures in two months to get the issue on the 2016 ballot, after failing to get enough signatures to put it before voters in November.

“It’s not the end of the road for us. We are just going to take a vacation,” said Gary Fults, an organizer for Arkansans for Compassionate Care.

The deadline for getting enough signatures was Monday.

“Last night when we got to 47 thousand, and we were just about through counting, the reality hit us that we weren`t going to be able to get enough signatures,” Fults said.

The initiative needed 62,507 signatures in order to be on the 2014 ballot.

Supporters say the low numbers, less than 50 thousand, aren`t a sign that Arkansans are opposed to legalizing medicinal marijuana.

“The weather was the single biggest thing that hurt us,” Fults said.

Those who oppose the initiative say it was only a stepping stone to legalizing the drug for recreational use.

“We believe, basically, that these initiatives have a hidden agenda to them,” said Steve Lowry, a former DEA agent. “What it is about is not medicine. It’s about getting high.”

Some say legalizing medicinal marijuana would portray the state in a bad light.

“We do not need, basically as a society, to say that smoking dope is okay,” Lowry said.

But, those with the Arkansans for Compassionate Care say their group doesn`t support marijuana for recreational use.

“We`ve never been about for [recreational] legalization. We never will be about for [recreational] legalization. We don`t support for [recreational] legalization,” Fults said.

Opponents say they will continue working against a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana.

“If there’s another initiative that comes forward, we are going to fight that by all legal means necessary,” Lowry said.

Another group seeking to put medical marijuana on the November ballot decided a couple of months ago they wouldn’t be able to get enough signatures, which led them to end their efforts.

9 comments

  • Ron Snider

    People are not stupid. Medical marijuana is already legal, in the pill form, in Arkansas, it is just that the pill form won’t give you the “high” feeling that 98% of pot smokers are wanting.

    The only reason people want medical marijuana is to lay around and get high and 90% of these people are already on fake disability, or just total deadbeats living in their mom’s basement at the age of 42 with 3 kids living who knows where.

    These quack doctors will write prescriptions to every deadbeat in the state for “shoulder” pain, or fibromyalgia, or any other fake pain/condition.

    Why can’t people focus on raising kids and working hard and doing our part.

    Drugs like alcohol and marijuana are not the solution to today’s problems.

    • Damon

      Ron, you are stupid, making up your own statistics, showing off your self righteous attitude, calling doctors quacks, suggesting that everyone who go to these quack doctors are faking their pain. Get off your high horse. Quit hating people who want healthy medicine, or even just to get high and feel happy. You know nothing, and guess at everything, a real idiot.

    • Karen Robbins

      Mr. Snider, do you even know what cannabidiol (CBD) is? You might check such things out before commenting on something you know little or nothing about. Have you no compassion? It takes all kinds and yes there are those that just want to veg out and then there are those who are suffering that need this medicine and a large percentage are children. You need to do a little research. As far as alcohol goes, I agree. We will now have a state where every county sells alcohol. That is an excellent source of revenue as people get out and drive drunk, are violent or just walk down the sidewalk intoxicated and there’s a buck for the coffers.

    • Matt

      Ron, you are the prime example of what is wrong with the country. People are so close minded on this issue who have never smoked marijuana. You think people that smoke marijuana just lay around and be lazy and live In their parents basement? You are not only completely wrong but you are showing your ignorance to everyone. I smoke recreational marijuana everyday when I get home from work. I’ve never been without a job or have been a lazy bum “living in my parents basement.” Besides the fact that there has never been one reported death from smoking marijuana, people have this close minded opinion that if you smoke you become this huge “druggy” that does nothing with their lives. Now as far as marijuana for medical purposes there as been countless documentaries that SHOW how great marijuana can be for sick patients and yet people like you REFUSE to see that. I feel sorry for you for living such a close minded life.

      • Ron Snider

        Drugged driving is killing thousands of innocent Americans, Marijuana is the number one drug found in dead driver’s who caused the crash(excluding alcohol).

        Guys all I want to do is keep our Country safe for the children. I’m against alcohol also.

        Pot caused psychosis in kids, have you been to a child’s psych unit? 80% of these kids have pot in their system.

        When I was 18 my friend Jessie died from smoking pot- it threw him into a broncospasm.

        Look at the kid who jumped to his death in Colorado after going into a psychotic state from pot for the first time, he thought he could fly.

        The pill form of marijuana controls pain better, but won’t impair you, but it won’t make you high and had been legal in Arkansas for years.

        You people don’t know how bad pot destroies lives. I have see this.

        The researchers also found that marijuana was the main drug involved in the increase. It contributed to 12 percent of fatal crashes, compared to only 4 percent in 1999.

  • Matt

    Ron, I think your statistics are wrong. According to the Colorado state police since the legalization of marijuana only 10-15% of their DUI arrest were from marijuana. That was on CNN. How many accidents are from people taking prescription drugs? Or how many deaths are from overdosing on prescription drugs? Even if that one person in Colorado that jumped to his death from being high that is one person compared to hundreds if not thousands of alcohol or prescription relates deaths. What about the deaths from alcohol poisoning in young people? According to the numbers posted by the CDC marijuana is the safest form of medicine out there. Plus the stupid people will do stupid stuff whether being on marijuana or alcohol or being dumb in general. That would be like well since so many people die in car wrecks then we should outlaw cars. Come on Ron, read the stories and watch the videos of people with serious medical problems being treated successfully with marijuana. Arkansas is the “Natural State” so it only makes sense to legalize a natural form of medicine.

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