Arkansas medical marijuana initiative certified for ballot

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Another southern state may be joining the medical marijuana club this November, along with Louisiana.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) announced in a press release Thursday the secretary of state had certified the group’s initiative to legalize medical cannabis. The measure will appear on the November ballot.

The campaign turned in 77,516 valid signatures of registered voters. It needed 67,887 to make the ballot.

Support for medical marijuana in the state is strong, with one of the latest polls putting it at at 58%. Other surveys have found even higher levels of support.

Four years ago, however, a medical cannabis legalization measure in Arkansas failed by a narrow margin.

ACC campaign director Melissa Fults was focused Thursday not on her organization’s victory, but on a competing MMJ measure that she says could derail legalization efforts in the state.

A separate campaign led by Little Rock attorney David Couch is trying to get an MMJ measure on to the ballot. Fults contends both could fail if they appear on the same ballot. Couch has until Friday to turn in at least 84,859 signatures to the secretary of state’s office.

A third  petition, to legalize recreational cannabis, is also circulating, the weekly Arkansas Times reported. That measure is considered less likely to make the ballot.