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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Senate has again rejected an effort to ban smoking medical marijuana after opponents said the move undermines a voter-approved initiative that legalized the drug for people with certain ailments.

The Senate voted 15-11 Monday against the proposal to change the constitutional amendment voters approved in November legalizing medical marijuana to ban its smoking. The measure needs at least 24 votes to advance to the state House.

The vote marks the second time the smoking ban failed before the Senate. The measure is among several restrictions lawmakers are considering to the drug.

The state is set to begin accepting applications for dispensaries in July under the amendment.

A motion to allow the bill to come back up again later failed on an 11-0 vote.

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

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  • JMort69
    March 13, 2017 at 4:21 p.m.

    As someone who needs this medicine, I want to thank those senators who, both this time and the last, voted to adhere to the voice of the people. Rapert, et al, instead are listening to Jerry Cox of the Family Council, a lobbyist. How they can feel that his dictates overrule the people they are sworn to serve is the height of hypocrisy. You can find the names of those who voted for and against on under SB357, click on "Senate Votes". Please express both your appreciation for those who voted yes and disdain for those who voted no. Hopefully, all voters will remember how these senators treated their constituents in the next election.

  • JohnnyB23
    March 13, 2017 at 5:34 p.m.

    The beatings will continue. Resist.

  • Fabes
    March 13, 2017 at 5:38 p.m.

    This is great news for all Arkansans! When the people speak our politicians should listen and follow the will of the people. Thank you Rep. Hutchinson for following the will of the people!

  • mrcharles
    March 13, 2017 at 5:55 p.m.

    Will of the people or the will of he who made the people ?

    After all Cox , people want some of that burning bush that got Moses high.

    March 13, 2017 at 6:23 p.m.

    Rejecting the smoking ban is a win for suffering patients. Strains developed for specific ailments are expensive enough at dispensaries without further processing or special vaporizers. Doctors access everyday the tradeoff between benefit vs. harm of medications or treatment schemes. Today's cannabis potency is such that very little must be smoked to achieve palliative results.

    I appreciate those senators who respect the judgement of physicians and the will of the majority.

  • dunk7474
    March 13, 2017 at 6:48 p.m.

    I hope Jason Rapert and Jerry Cox have a horrible thing happen to them. Maybe someone with a gun will visit.

  • hurricane46
    March 13, 2017 at 8:13 p.m.

    Jerry Cox needs to be kicked out of Little Rock, he shouldn't have any say-so what goes on in the capitol.

  • LR1955
    March 13, 2017 at 9:02 p.m.

    Mr Charles...burning bush that got Moses high, lol

  • Packman
    March 13, 2017 at 10:51 p.m.

    A vote against rectal reefer. Sad.