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A group pushing for legalizing medical marijuana in Arkansas says it won't have enough signatures to put its proposal before voters this fall.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care said Monday it wouldn't turn in signatures to place its proposed initiated act on the November ballot. Monday is the deadline for ballot measure campaigns to submit petitions.

Melissa Fults, the group's campaign director, said it had collected roughly between 51,000 and 52,000 signatures, but a few thousand had to be thrown out because they weren't valid. They needed at least 62,507 signatures from registered voters.

The proposal would have allowed patients with qualifying medical conditions to purchase marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries.

Fults said the group would try to get the measure on the ballot in 2016.

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  • TheBatt
    July 7, 2014 at 11:54 a.m.

    After the previous go-round, and despite better funding this time, voters saw through it.

    It isn't a matter of compassion. It is about a couple of factors- with the real motives being a big part of the lack of support.

    This has never REALLY been about medicine, easing pain, or cancer patients (or any of the other stated sales pitches). It is about opening the door to full legalization.

    Follow the money. And do some genuine research. It takes a little work, but the truth is out there.

  • nlr_resident
    July 7, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.

    I've never seen anyone out trying to collect signatures. Maybe that's part of the problem...

  • FreeSpiritMan
    July 7, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.

    So what, the batt will not be made to smoke it if it is legalized, just some more morality nut cases like Hobby Lobby. They must not have come to my county (Perry) or they would have gotten 98% signatures. Out here we have a lot of Baptist drive up windows at the liquor stores.

  • LR1955
    July 7, 2014 at 12:54 p.m.

    Don't give me that money/research line. Unless you or a loved one has experienced the medicinal effects of marijuana, just STFU ! If I weren't such a Christian Liberal, I'd pray for all the naysayers to get cancer & loose their appetite. It would be interesting see if they'd just curl up in a ball and depend on doctors & research, or if their will to live would open their eyes to alternatives.

  • RestoftheStory
    July 7, 2014 at 1:36 p.m.

    The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has a clear procedure for establishing drugs and dosages. If Marijuana is scientifically proven to have a legitimate purpose, the FDA will approve it like other drugs. Until it is proven to have scientific benefits, drug addicts will continue to buy it in dark alleys instead of pharmacies.
    Someone might claim that eating hamburgers in the light of a full moon with a little chocolate syrup will cure cancer, but the FDA will have something to say about that.

  • RBBrittain
    July 7, 2014 at 1:39 p.m.

    @nlr_resident: TheBatt is certainly right about one thing: "Follow the money." The marijuana petitioners didn't have enough money, even though they had a head start time-wise on the other two. The minimum-wage petition had SOME money behind it from unions, so it passed the first test today. But the REAL money (i.e., Walmart) was behind the "all-wet" petition, which had the LEAST time to circulate (1-1/2 months) but the MOST signatures, largely because they were allowed to solicit in front of Walmart stores (a decision obviously made in Bentonville)...

  • RBBrittain
    July 7, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.

    One minor correction: It appears one marijuana proposal's ballot title was approved by the Attorney General *after* the "all-wet" proposal, though it's unclear if it's the one in this article. (IIRC there were multiple groups trying to get marijuana on the ballot.) Still, that came after *EIGHT* previous rejections by the AG; since the AG can only reject a proposal if it's so vague that NO reasonable ballot title can be written for it, that also tells you they didn't have the money to hire the right drafting lawyers. (Even the "all-wet" petition was rejected 3 times by the AG before he approved it.)

  • TigerInArk
    July 7, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

    People who want to use marijuana, whether medicinally or recreationally, will have no problem finding & buying it, whether it's legal or not.

  • RaylanGivens
    July 7, 2014 at 2:23 p.m.

    Perry County wouldn't want to legalize it; too much competition for all of the meth labs out there.

  • SilkRobot
    July 7, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.

    Arkansans really needs to get educated on this issue and idiots like Jerry Cox and The Family Council need to stop spreading fear and lies through our religious organizations. This is NOT about "opening the door to full legalization". Cannabis is a proven medical treatment for many things including, but not limited to cancer. The FDA & any government involvement is directly related to and influenced by money. It's the pharmaceutical companies that DON'T want this legalized and they're the ones with the big bucks. I am a BSN, RN with 24 years medical experience. I have been a helicopter medic in the Army Reserves and an ICU Nurse officer in the Naval Reserve. I also obtained the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14. I also suffer daily from Crohn's Disease. I work with cancer patients every day in a prominent hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Cannabis has been proven to put Crohn's patients back into remission. This issue IS about patients and people who suffer. It's not about your religious or personal beliefs. Cannabis has not killed anyone, but tobacco and alcohol kills Arkansans every day...and that's fully legal! Cannabis is a medicine & an herb. It's oil has stopped chronic seizures in children (with out "getting them high"). If you do your research, like I have, you'll find that in the early 1900's the cotton industry (also a big money business) was threatened by the hemp product. This lead to politicians being paid off to help spread lies about the (false) dangers of cannabis/marijuana. Marijuana was even proven to stop/slow cancer cell growth back in 1974. That info was also carefully swept under the proverbial rug (do you think pharmaceutical companies really want to cure cancer and sell less drugs?). They are not about people...They're about money. It's gotten so bad that pharmaceutical reps can no longer (legally) give gifts/money to hospital employees because of the influence of corruption. The created jobs and tax profit alone on medical cannabis could turn Arkansas school, medical and road funding around...however; many dangerous idiots continue to believe the lies and don't find out for themselves. Marijuana helps patients live a more joyful, active, pain free and productive life without the many side effects of common prescriptions. When you or a loved one get diagnosed with cancer, Crohn's or your baby gets epilepsy you will sing a different tune...believe me.
    I cannot use cannabis in Arkansas because I'm a nurse & it's still considered illegal...even with a medical prescription. So I'll continue to take care of you and your family in daily pain because of your twisted & irrational beliefs. Wake up Arkansas!