Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Stalls

JULY 9, 2004 - Posted at 5:19 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A group pushing for an Arkansas constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana has given up because of funding problems.

The Arkansas Coalition for Compassionate Care said today it needed another 50,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot and couldn't afford the $300,000 in TV ads it would have taken to educate voters.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative had collected 70,000 signatures and turned them into the Secretary of State's office, but organizers said it would have taken at least another month to ensure an adequate number of valid signatures.

The project was supported by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project.  It is committed to getting amendments on ballots in Montana, Nevada, Alaska and Oregon this November, but Arkansas spokeswoman Chloe Crater said today that the effort here was not as far along and had to be scrapped.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)