2nd Arkansas MMJ Legalization Push Begins

Let the fundraising begin.

Organizers behind a bid to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas have officially started raising money to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot. Arkansans for Compassionate Care and Americans for Safe Access held their first major fundraising event on Saturday with an all-day concert in the town of El Dorado.

They hope to make Arkansas the first state in the South to legalize MMJ after a similar bid failed narrowly last year. That measure came up short by just 30,000 votes, with 49% supporting it and 51% opposing it.

This time around, however, they won’t have much support from the Marijuana Policy Project, which was a big player behind the 2012 effort but is not involved in the 2014 push.

Supporters need to gather 62,000 signatures by early July to get the measure on the ballot. So far, they have 4,000.

The initiative – called the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act – would allow registered, licensed non-profit dispensaries sell cannabis to patients with certain medical conditions. Patients would also have the option of growing it themselves.