Tag: News

Arkansas marijuana legalization hot ballot issue, but is competition bad thing?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Canvassers around the state are in a month-long sprint to gather thousands of signatures for proposed ballot issues. Depending on how things fall, voters might have a chance to consider multiple Arkansas marijuana-related proposals this fall.

The marijuana measures, a plan to legalize casinos in three counties, an effort to impose strict term limits on legislators and new limits on lawsuit damages are the half-dozen proposals vying for a spot on the ballot ahead of a July 8 deadline to submit petitions.

Two ballot issues under consideration would legalize medical marijuana, and the prospect of competing proposals on the ballot worries advocates.

“It will be enough to split the vote and both will fail,” said Melissa Fults, campaign director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which is trying to put an initiated act on the ballot.

Fults says her group has already gathered more than 70,000 valid signatures from registered voters, more than the 67,887 needed to get the proposed initiated act on the ballot. David Couch, the Little Rock lawyer behind a competing medical marijuana proposal, says he’s not worried about the prospect of both measures being on the ballot.

Couch said he’s gathered support from more than 40,000 registered voters, nearly half of the 84,859 he’ll need to put his plan on the ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment, which requires more signatures.

“I think that if the debate is about whether or not someone is sick and dying or has some sort of illness that marijuana can actually help with that and the doctor prescribes it, nobody has a problem with it,” Couch said.

The proposals are also vying with a wider measure to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes. Mary Berry, the Summit woman behind that proposal, didn’t return a message about her proposal last week.

Arkansas voters in 2012 narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana after a campaign that drew attention and money from national legalization advocates. It’s unclear whether either medical marijuana proposal will draw that kind of support this time if they make the ballot, but they’re likely to face stiff opposition. The Family Council, a conservative group that campaigned against the 2012 measure, has filed paperwork with the Ethics Commission to oppose any legalization efforts. A separate group, the Coalition for Safer Arkansas Communities, has also formed to oppose the marijuana proposals.
___

Andrew DeMillo has covered Arkansas government and politics for The Associated Press since 2005. Follow him on Twitter: @ademillo

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »

Unhappy hunters, conservationists sue saying pot cultivation poisons wildlife

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A group of conservationists and hunters is suing Mendocino County after it loosened restrictions on the cultivation of medical marijuana.

The Press Democrat reports that an interim county ordinance allows permitted growers to have up to 99 marijuana plants on a 10-acre parcel. The maximum without a permit is 25, the previous maximum for all growers.

The Mendocino County Blacktail Association says the county violated state laws by not completing an environmental study. The group is asking for an injunction on the ordinance until the county studies its potential impact.

According to the lawsuit, marijuana cultivation can wreak havoc on the environment and poison wildlife.

County Supervisor John McCowen says the interim rules were designed to protect the environment in light of pending state regulations allowing commercial marijuana cultivation.

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »

State university gives a big NO to pot leaf on T-shirt

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri has denied a request from a student group that wants to put a marijuana leaf on a T-shirt next to the university’s name.

Leaders for the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws are fighting the decision, saying it’s about First Amendment rights and fairness.

The Kansas City Star reports MU NORML wanted to raise money selling T-shirts with a marijuana leaf in the shape of an animal paw next to the campus skyline, another cannabis leaf and the name of the group and the university.

The group sought the university’s permission, but was rejected.

The university says it’s reviewing a foundation’s recent letter in support of the group.

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »