Arkansans for Compassionate Care
A petition is circulating in Arkansas to allow the sick and dying access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) are encouraging others to support the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, which would legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, reports Will DuPree at KAIT.
“It’s common sense,” said ACC campaign director Ryan Denhem. “It’s time to have a policy like this in Arkansas.”
Denhem said a growing number of volunteers helped the group collect more than 20,000 signatures since May 2011. However, that’s only one-third of what’s required to get the issue on the November ballot.
“If that passes, it will allow patients a safe environment, a tightly regulated, controlled environment, to purchase medical marijuana with a doctor’s supervision,” Denhem said.
He expects the group to have more than the 62,000 signatures needed by the July 6 deadline. The ACC is recruiting even more volunteers to hit the streets, gather signatures and educate people about the proposed law.
“We’re continuing to work with those volunteers and to train them and mobilize them, so I’m optimistic that we can still make the ballot,” Denhem said.
Denhem said most opposition has come from people worried about that the law would be abused. He said the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act has safeguards to keep that from happening.
A doctor would need to certify that a patient suffered from one of about 15 serious medical conditions to qualify for an Arkansas medical marijuana card, according to a draft of the measure on the ACC’s website.
“We’re talking about cancer patients, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Tourette’s, fibromyalgia,” Denhem said. “We’re talking about serious medical conditions.”
Patients would be allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, which they could get from a nonprofit dispensary. Patients or their designated caregivers could grow a limited amount of marijuana if they live more than five miles from the nearest dispensary.
Denhem said marijuana is one of the safest, most therapeutic substances and could relieve nausea and appetite loss, among other conditions. The ACC’s website features testimonies from a number of Arkansans who illegally used medicinal cannabis to treat their symptoms.
“In Arkansas patients are left with two horrible choices,” Denhem said. “They can continue to suffer and not get the relief they need by not getting medical marijuana, or they can break the law and get medical marijuana on the black market.”
Places To Sign The Petition
Businesses listed do not necessarily endorse the campaign.
Would you like to carry a petition for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act at your place of business? Contact ACC today!