November 2, 2012

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Backers Spend $406K in Oct. as Part of Big Pre-Election Push

Image for Arkansas medical cannabis

An Arkansas medical cannabis legalization measure faces an uphill battle, but supporters hope a last-minute blitzkrieg of TV ads will sway enough voters to push the initiative over the top.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care – the group behind the measure – spent $406,000 in October to promote medical marijuana legalization in the state, according to documents it submitted this week. It was able to raise nearly $420,000 during the month, most of it tied to a huge infusion from the Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project. The Drug Policy Alliance ranked as the second-largest donor, pumping $15,000 last month into the effort.

Campaign organizers spent most of the money ($399,000) on advertising, mainly on a series of TV ads that aired in recent weeks.

To date, the campaign has raised nearly $709,000 in contributions. It now has $16,700 left in its coffers just four days before the election.

The latest poll (conducted Oct. 18) showed the measure trailing by a significant margin, with 38% of likely voters supporting it and 54% opposed. But the Marijuana Policy project points out that the poll was taken before the TV ad campaign, which started on Oct. 19.

“We’re running a substantial number of ads, and our opponents are running none, so the polling will certainly rise between October 19 and November 6,” MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia said earlier this week.

Closing the gap is doable, as the polls have shown big swings in voter sentiment on the issue. One conducted in the summer showed voters evenly split on marijuana legalization, and MPP said a private poll taken between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1 showed the initiative leading by 2 percentage points.

Steve Fox, the director of government relations for MPP, said supporters on the ground in Arkansas report “almost universally favorable” responses. At the same time, the polls showing the initiative trailing by a wide margin could be misleading, as many residents of the conservative state might say one thing to a pollster on the phone but vote differently in the privacy of a booth.

If the measure passes, it would represent a major coup for the national MMJ industry.

“Arkansas would be a huge symbolic victory,” Fox said. “Aside from the benefits that patients in the state would get, it would be the first state in the South” to legalize medical marijuana.

Post Your Comment:

Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Denver MJ Growers Major Contributor to Rise in Energy Use

Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]

Alaska Governor Names 5 to Marijuana Control Board

Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]

New York Could Reveal MMJ License Winners Soon


The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]

50+ Medical Cannabis Business Applications Filed in MA

The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]

Oregon Rec Rules Materializing, Early Sales Possible

Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]

Rand Paul Brings in Six Figures at MJ Industry Fundraiser


Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]

Hawaii Bill Establishing Dispensaries Likely to Become Law

Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]

Second MMJ Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania Legislature

In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]

Fifth New Jersey Dispensary Given Green Light

New Jersey medical cannabis, pot dispensary and marijuana industry news

And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]

Louisiana Gov Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]

New York Cannabis Firm Buys Oregon Utility Building for $3M

In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]

WA Moves Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Tax Structure

cannabis taxes

Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]

Sole MMJ Dispensary Opens in Delaware

Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]

Canadian Cultivator Tilray to Lay Off 61 Employees

Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily