Arkansans for Compassionate Care stop in Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care is making their way throughout the state to explain the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. It's one of two ballots that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the wording of and if they gain enough signatures, will show up on the November Ballot this fall.

"We need to have 62,507 valid signatures," Campaign manager Melissa Fults told Region 8 News.

Fults explained that's one reason the Arkansans for Compassionate Care were in Region 8 today, explaining the ballot & collecting signatures. Fults said it's a different tactic from 2012.

"We were so busy getting the petitions signed that we didn't get the opportunity to go out and actually meet people and explain what we were trying to do and that this was for medical use only."

In the 2012 election, legalizing medical marijuana failed by just a few percentage points.

Fults told Region 8 News that marijuana for medicinal purposes is something she pushes for after her son was injured in a car wreck and was prescribed opiates for years.

"His doctors told him, we're killing you. it's not a matter of if it's going to kill you, it's a matter of when."

Fults explained her son's best option from there was cannabis. She explained many other families face the same decision but getting that treatment means leaving the state and not coming back.

"Because if they come into our state, they can be arrested, their family members, if they have children, their children can be taken away from them," Fults said.

The act does limit those who would be prescribed medical marijuana to only people with qualifying medical conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDs and more.

Kristina Townsend signed the petition after doing extensive research on the matter and realizing it could have helped her loved ones who suffered through serious medical conditions.

"It's not going to benefit me, I'm not sick, but the people that are sick, they need somebody to say something for them," Townsend said.

Fults said so far, they have about 10,000 verified signatures. They have until July to get the 62,000 plus.

On the Arkansans for Compassionate Care website, you can read the full initiative.

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