Arkansas' state flag flying before a cloudless sky.

Adam Bartlett

According to the latest Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College poll, Arkansas voters favor the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment over the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, seemingly due to the lack of the grow-your-own provision in the amendment.

In the survey, respondents were asked about the proposals and given details about what set them apart from each other. The majority, 49 percent to 43 percent, indicated they would support the amendment; which limits the number of dispensaries to 40, controlled by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, which was approved for ballot inclusion before the amendment, was supported by just 36 percent of respondents, compared to 53 percent opposed. The act permits for individuals living more than 20 miles from a dispensary with a “hardship certificate” to grow up to 10 plants for personal use.

Dr. Jay Barth, political science professor at Hendrix College, said that both proposals are still in court battles that could disqualify them from the ballot, but the poll results indicate “voters have thought about the topic a great deal” because of the small percentage of respondents who indicated they had no opinion.

“Assuming both measures are on the ballot, the key questions are whether the supporters of the two measures attack one other in the weeks ahead (joining the full-throated opposition to either measure coming from the state Chamber of Commerce, the Hutchinson administration, and health care leaders) and whether the apparent knowledge of the differences between the two measures will overcome voter confusion that often shows itself on ballot measures on election day,” Barth said in his analysis.

If both measures are passed by voters, the one with the most votes will supersede the other. Arkansas is one of four states that will be voting on allowing medical marijuana in November.

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