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AR Atty. General Certifies Ballot Title for Medical Marijuana Act

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has certified a ballot title proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use in the Natural State.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has certified a ballot title proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use in the Natural State.

The "Arkansas Medical Cannibis Act" was submitted by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, who previously had several other attempts rejected due to ambiguities in the language.

McDaniel issued the opinion Thursday, writing, "The purpose of my review and certification is to ensure that the popular name and ballot title honestly, intelligibly, and fairly set forth the purpose of the proposed amendment or ac," and that neither his certification nor rejection of the ballot title does not reflect his view on the merits of the proposal.

The Arkansas Medical Cannibis Act must now collect more than 62,000 signatures before it can be put on the 2014 ballot.

To read McDaniel's opinion, click here.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care issued the following news release Thursday evening in response to the opinion:

LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 3, 2013)-Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the wording of a new medical cannabis ballot initiative that would establish a regulatory system in the state and ensure that medical marijuana is accessible and affordable to low-income or isolated patients. 

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act | Key Points

Sponsored by Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC), the same group who authored and sponsored the near-victorious 2012 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will establish the rules for the program in the first 120 days after the chapter is made effective.

Affordability Clause: The ADH will adopt rules establishing a system to provide for the safe and affordable dispensing of medical marijuana to low-income patients on a sliding scale. Each dispensary will devote a maximum of 2% percent of its gross revenue, as determined by the ADH, to fund this program.

Hardship Cultivation Certificate: Provides safe accessibility for remote, rural patients who live beyond the delivery range of a dispensary and who don't have access to a caregiver.

Qualifying Conditions for Patients: Cancer, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Tourette’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s Disease (agitation) or the treatment of these conditions: cachexia or Wasting Syndrome; peripheral neuropathy; intractable pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms.

Read the AMCA Online:

Arkansans for Compassionate Care plan to begin gathering the 62,507 signatures needed to put the act on the 2014 ballot at this year's Arkansas State Fair.

“This new act clarifies the role of the Arkansas Department of Health, it restructures and restricts the hardship cultivation opportunities, and most importantly, it introduces an affordability clause to create a sliding-scale price system for low-income patients,” said Melissa Fults, Campaign Director for ACC. "Last year more than a million Arkansans voted on this issue, and we very nearly won, but in the end the changes we’ve made have actually given us a better bill to take before the people of Arkansas in 2014.

The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act proposes to create up to $10m in tax revenues for the state and more than 500 jobs.
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