Difference between revisions of "Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (2014)"

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Revision as of 12:50, 20 June 2014

Voting on Marijuana
Marijuana Leaf-smaller.gif
Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
An Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative may appear on a 2014 election ballot in Arkansas as an initiated state statute.

Two groups are currently attempting to land similar measures on a 2014 ballot. If a measure is approved by voters, medical marijuana would be legalized in the state, allowing patients with certain medical conditions to obtain marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries. Both measures have been cleared for circulation and are in the signature collection phase.[1]

Arkansans for Compassionate Care 2014

According to Arkansans for Compassionate Care 2014, the two initiatives are similar, except the Arkansans for Responsible Medicine initiative does not contain a provision for hardship cultivation certification of low-income affordability.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The following popular name and ballot title was approved for circulation by the attorney general:[2]

Popular name:

The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act

Ballot Title:

An act making the medical use of marijuana legal under arkansas state law, but acknowledging that marijuana use, possession, and distribution for any purpose remain illegal under federal law; establishing a system for the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for qualifying patients through nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and granting those nonprofit dispensaries limited immunity; allowing localities to limit the number of nonprofit dispensaries and to enact zoning regulations governing their operations; providing that qualifying patients, their designated caregivers and nonprofit dispensary agents shall not be subject to criminal or civil penalties or other forms of discrimination for engaging in or assisting with the qualifying patients’ medical use of marijuana; allowing limited cultivation of marijuana by qualifying patients and designated caregivers if the qualifying patient and his or her designated caregiver lacks access to reasonable transportation to a nonprofit dispensary and obtains a hardship cultivation certificate from the department of health; allowing compensation for designated caregivers; requiring that in order to become a qualifying patient, a person submit to the state a written certification from a physician that he or she is suffering from a qualifying medical condition; establishing an initial list of qualifying medical conditions; directing the department of health to establish rules related to the processing of applications for registry identification cards, hardship cultivation certificates; the operations of nonprofit dispensaries, and the addition of qualifying medical conditions if such additions will enable patients to derive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana; setting maximum registration fees for nonprofit dispensaries; directing the department of health to establish a system to provide affordable marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries to low income patients; establishing qualifications for registry identification cards; establishing qualifications for hardship cultivation certificates; establishing standards to ensure that qualifying patient and designated caregiver registration information is treated as confidential; directing the department of health to provide the legislature annual quantitative reports about the medical marijuana program; setting certain limitations on the use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients; establishing an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana; establishing registration and operation requirements for nonprofit dispensaries; setting limits on the number of nonprofit dispensaries; setting limits on the amount of marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may cultivate and the amount of usable marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may dispense to a qualifying patient; prohibiting certain conduct by and imposing certain conditions and requirements on physicians, nonprofit dispensaries, nonprofit dispensary agents, qualifying patients, and designated caregivers; prohibiting felons from serving as desginated caregivers, owners, board members, or officers of nonprofit dispensaries, or as nonprofit dispensary agents; allowing visiting qualifying patients suffering from qualifying medical conditions to utilize the arkansas medical marijuana program; and directing the sales tax revenues received from the sale of marijuana to cover the costs to the department of health for administering the medical marijuana program and fifty percent (50%) of the remainder to the newborn umbilical cord initiative fund and fifty percent (50%) to drug education programs administered through the department of human services.[3]

Arkansans for Responsible Medicine

The proposal by Arkansans for Responsible Medicine was approved on August 7, 2013, and has the same deadline to collect the required 62,507 signatures.[4][5]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The following popular name and ballot title were certified for this initiative effort by the attorney general:[6]

Popular Name:

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act

Ballot Title:

An act making the medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law, but acknowledging that marijuana use, possession, and distribution for any purpose remain illegal under federal law; establishing a system for the cultivation, acquisition and distribution of marijuana for qualifying patients through nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and granting those nonprofit dispensaries limited immunity; allowing localities to limit the number of nonprofit dispensaries and to enact reasonable zoning regulations governing their operations; providing that qualifying patients, and nonprofit dispensary agents shall not be subject to criminal or civil penalties or other forms of discrimination for engaging in or assisting with the patients’ medical use of marijuana; requiring that in order to become a qualifying patient, a person submit to the state a written certification from a physician licensed in the State of Arkansas that he or she is suffering from a qualifying medical condition; establishing an initial list of qualifying medical conditions; directing the Department of Health to establish rules related to the processing of applications for registry identification cards, the operations of nonprofit dispensaries, and the addition of qualifying medical conditions if such additions will enable patients to derive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana; setting initial maximum application fees for nonprofit dispensaries; establishing qualifications for registry identification cards; establishing standards to ensure that qualifying patient registration information is treated as confidential; directing the Department of Health to provide the Legislature annual quantitative reports about the Medical Marijuana Program; setting certain limitations on the use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients; establishing an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana; establishing registration and operation requirements for nonprofit dispensaries; setting limits on the amount of marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may cultivate and the amount of marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may dispense to a qualifying patient; prohibiting certain conduct by imposing certain conditions and requirements on physicians, nonprofit dispensaries, nonprofit dispensary agents, and qualifying patients; establishing a list of felony offenses which preclude certain types of participation in the Medical Marijuana Program; providing that the sale of usable marijuana is subject to all state and local sales taxes; and providing that the state sales tax revenue shall be distributed 25% to the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank, 25% to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Fund (established by the act), 25% to the Public Health Fund and 25% to the Behavioral Health Services Fund Account.[3]

Background

In November 2012, Issue 5, which would have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana in Arkansas, was defeated 51.44% to 48.56%. Due to the narrow margins, supporters of legalizing medical marijuana decided to try again in 2014.[1]

Support

There are currently two groups sponsoring separate but similar medical marijuana measures for 2014. One group, Arkansans for Responsible Medicine, had its petition certified for circulation by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The second group, Arkansans for Compassionate Care 2014 - a spinoff of the group that sponsored the 2012 medical marijuana measure - is revising its proposal after McDaniel rejected its initial petition due to "ambiguities." Unlike the 2012 measure, neither 2014 proposal would allow patients to grow their own marijuana.[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Arkansas

For an initiated state statute, signatures equal to at least 8% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last gubernatorial election are required. Supporters must collect at least 62,507 valid signatures by July 7, 2014 in order to land a measure on the ballot.

Similar measures

See also

External links

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References