Arkansans for Compassionate Care say they will make ballot in 2016

Arkansans for Compassionate Care say they will make ballot in 2016

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In 2012, voters rejected the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in Arkansas.

Now this year, they didn't get enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

However the group pushing to pass medical marijuana says they will be back in 2016 and they don't plan on going 0-3. "They stood out there in the rain and in the sun. You know, they tried to collect as much as they could," Kristina Townsend said.

Townsend, a regional director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said that just wasn't enough this time.

The group,  that was pushing to get medical marijuana on the November ballot, fell about 10,000 signatures short of their goal for over 62,000 raw signatures.

"There's so many people willing to sign this petition, it was just not able to reach everybody," Townsend said.

Townsend said they received no outside funding which resulted in fewer people collecting signatures for the petition.

"There's just a handful that was able to get out there and collect signatures because we all have full time jobs or a lot of our volunteers are sick," Townsend said.

Gail Rasberry volunteered after work and on weekends to collect signatures. She personally wouldn't benefit from medical marijuana but knows people who would and said that's what drove many to sign.

"They see their friends and relatives suffering from chemotherapy and radiation, they see children with epileptic seizures and that's what got me the most," Rasberry said. "I think those people that didn't get around to signing this time are really regretting it now."

Rasberry said they will be back though and they don't plan on failing this time.

"We are not backing down. We're gonna come back in 2016 and we're gonna get the signatures and we're gonna get on the ballot and we're gonna pass," Rasberry said.

Townsend agreed, saying she believes America as a whole is shifting their view toward medical cannabis.

"They see that this really is a medicine. It really can help," Townsend said.

Townsend said as soon as they can start collecting signatures for the 2016 ballot, they will.

Townsend said they do not expect outside funding this time either, so it will be volunteers out collecting signatures once again.

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