Arkansans for Compassionate Care -- a ballot committee promoting a proposed initiated act to legalize medical marijuana -- received $12,500 from Washington, D.C.-based New Approach PAC last month, the ballot committee reported Monday.
The political action committee was formed to make political expenditures in support of changing marijuana laws, including, but not limited to, support of state ballot initiatives and candidates, according to its Internal Revenue Service filing.
The ballot committee raised $16,401 and spent $24,609 last month, according to its report posted Monday on the website for the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care is backing the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, which has qualified for the Nov. 8 general election ballot, according to the secretary of state's office.
In total, the ballot committee has raised $142,252.23 and spent $121,320.72 through June 30, according to its report. It reported $20,957.05 in the bank as of June 30.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care's $12,500 contribution from the New Approach PAC last month increased the PAC's total contributions to the ballot committee to $25,000, and a $1,000 contribution from social worker Geoffrey Oelsner Jr. of Fayetteville last month increased his total contributions to the ballot committee to $6,000.
The committee also reported receiving $651.90 from T-shirt sales and 19 contributions from individuals ranging from $50 to $250 last month.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care's reported expenses last month included a $1,620 repayment of a loan from Gary Fults of Hensley and various canvasser, validating, printing and other expenses. The group is led by its campaign director, Melissa Fults of Hensley. Gary Fults is married to Melissa Fults.
The June report for a different committee promoting a competing ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana wasn't posted on the Arkansas Ethics Commission's website as of late Monday afternoon.
The committee is called Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana and it is promoting a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. It is led by attorney David Couch of Little Rock and is awaiting notice from the secretary of state's office on whether it has qualified for the ballot.
Couch worked with Fults on a proposed 2012 medical-marijuana measure that fell just short of approval by voters in the general election. After the 2012 election, the two split over a "grow-your-own" provision, and they pursued separate proposals for this election year.
Information for this article was contributed by Brian Fanney of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Metro on 07/19/2016