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Medical-marijuana measure upheld for ballot

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published September 27, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. Updated September 27, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.

emily-williams-and-brian-hill-help-deliver-boxes-of-signatures-to-the-secretary-of-states-office-monday-aug-13-arkansans-for-compassionate-care-collected-74406-signatures-to-try-to-ensure-the-2012-arkansas-medical-marijuana-act-is-on-the-november-ballot

Emily Williams and Brian Hill help deliver boxes of signatures to the secretary of state’s office Monday, Aug. 13. Arkansans for Compassionate Care collected 74,406 signatures to try to ensure the 2012 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act is on the November ballot.

— The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that a proposed initiated act to legalize the medical use of marijuana can appear on the November ballot.

In an opinion released Thursday morning, the court denied a petition filed by the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values. The group had argued that the ballot's name wasn't complete, didn't fully reflect the scope and impact of the proposal and would still violate federal law.

Associate Justice Karen R. Baker wrote in the 15-page opinion that the ballot name and title were acceptable, noting the latter "is not duly long, nor is it complex or misleading" and that it "clearly provides the purpose and scope of the Act."

"... [W]e hold that the popular name and ballot title are an intelligible, honest and impartial means of presenting the Act to the people for their consideration," she wrote. "We hold that it is an adequate and fair representation without misleading tendencies or partisan coloring."

Baker writes in the opinion that the coalition opposing the ballot measure did not "meet its burden to demonstrate that the Act clearly conflicts with any constitutional provision" in arguing that it would violate the law if passed.

"[The coalition] has asked this court to hold the Act unconstitutional based on hypothetical scenarios that may occur in the future, if the Act becomes a law," she wrote. "We decline to do so."

The secretary of state announced in August that the group supporting the medical marijuana measure — Arkansans for Compassionate Care — had turned in enough signatures to appear on the November ballot.

If passed, a doctor could approve a patient with a qualifying condition for the possession and use of marijuana as a treatment.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Medical-marijuana measure upheld for ballot

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NOTAGAIN says... September 27, 2012 at 9:40 a.m.

And so it should. Thank you justices for following the law. I'm going to stop there and be nice by not to saying anything bad about the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values but I want to. If it passes and I hope it does, many people will be helped

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HawgFan says... September 27, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.

Dude.. Right on...

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TheBatt says... September 27, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

Lest we forget- the Arkansas Supreme Court is ELECTED...,

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TheBatt says... September 27, 2012 at 9:57 a.m.

Many people will be helped... How funny is that. Lets see, the law, paricularly as crafted, would make for an enforcement nightmare (which is one of the stated purposes of the group who put this ballot measure together.

Further, every compound in marijuana that has therepudic value is available already as prescription medications.

The fact is, this proposed law has nothing to do with helping people who are sick, it is about breaking down the barriers to complete legalization.

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HawgFan says... September 27, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.

Batt.... Dude... You're being a downer, man...

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marilyngv says... September 27, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.

I love it- lets allow Arkansas to be the first progressive state in the south. Take a lead from our native son- you dont have to inhale if you dont want. :) Its good for the state and it shows we think about measures that can help out our society.

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Dontsufferfools says... September 27, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.

"therapudic"? We ought to legalize it entirely. What right does the government have to root around in my garden like an armadillo? We should be allowed to garden in peace. Where's the Tea-Pot Party when we need it?

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mhck52 says... September 27, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.

At least Arkansas deals with these legal issues before the election, unlike California for example.

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TheTroof says... September 27, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.

In reply the The Batt's LIES: You said every theraputic compound in marijuana is available through prescription? THAT IS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL LIE. Prove it. List them. I dare you. You won't and can't. Marinol is the only prescription medication that attempts to mimic the compounds in marijuana. Its not even a good copy and doesn't work.

I watched my uncle die from liver cancer a few years back. The only thing that prevented him from starving to death was smoking marijuana. All the prescription anti naseau medication made him vomit. I'll tell you what makes me want to vomit. Its people who spread lies about marijuana all in the name of so called "values". People like you The Batt

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ToTheLeft says... September 27, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.

If the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values (what a bogus name!) members do not wish to smoke, they do not have to. Suffer in silence. Case closed.

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