The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment — a.k.a. Issue 6 — would create a five-member Medical Marijuana Commission that would oversee the program and advise the Department of Health on cannabis-related issues.
Earlier in the year, Arkansas experienced a unique internal struggle on the cannabis front: two different and competing medical cannabis initiatives originally qualified for the general election ballot, and — though each initiative polled favorably on their own — it was a widespread concern that the initiatives might split the popular vote, thus sabotaging the larger MMJ effort.
Late last month, however, the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act over an allegedly illegal petitioning process — this proved to be a controversial move which sparked a series of lawsuits from voters who had already submitted their ballots through early voting.
The AMCA had been favored by many advocates and had an endorsement from NORML because it allowed for more widespread cannabis use and for patients to grow their own medicine, though popular opinion had been leaning toward the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. Now, with only one initiative left to vote for, Arkansas voters will hopefully unite in approving a medical marijuana program for those patients who need it.
You can follow along on this post for live updates as election results come in.
Update 9:43 pm PST – Arkansas voters have passed Issue 6 to legalize medical marijuana, with reports from Politico showing a 53-47 split in favor of the amendment.
Update 7:55 pm PST – Support for Issue 6 has risen to 52 percent support with 39 percent of precincts reporting.
Update 7:25 pm PST – Arkansas’ Issue 6 is caught in a tight race. According to the Associated Press via Google Election Tracker, the current numbers are being reported at 51 percent support and 49 percent against, with just over 25 percent of precincts reporting.
Issue 6, “Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment”
Taxes: The AMMA invokes local and state taxes.
Revenue disbursement: AMMA – 5 percent to the Department of Health; 4 percent to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration, and Enforcement divisions; 1 percent to the Medical Marijuana Commission; 10 percent to the Skills Development Fund; 50 percent to the would-be-created Vocational and Technical Training Special Revenue Fund; 30 percent to the General Revenue Fund.
VIDEO: Overview of Cannabis Initiatives
Below is a brief overview of all the different state-level cannabis initiatives on the ballot this election cycle. With nine total states voting on expanding access to cannabis, this year presents an unprecedented opportunity for legalization advocates and medical cannabis patients.