Arkansas MMJ legalization loses out on $1M campaign donation

A group of anonymous donors, along with the Marijuana Policy Project, were ready to throw a cumulative $1 million behind a campaign to legalize medical cannabis in Arkansas, but decided to devote the money to campaigns elsewhere after a second MMJ initiative qualified for the state ballot.

That’s according to MPP founder and executive director Rob Kampia, who said he tried to get the leaders of the second campaign – Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana – to pull their initiative for the sake of only having one legalization measure on the fall ballot.

“It’s so incredibly unlikely to pass one of the MMJ initiatives in Arkansas with both appearing on the same ballot that we were unanimous in agreeing to not spend $1 million on a campaign that just became almost impossible to win,” Kampia said. “That agreement was conveyed to the folks who were running the second competing campaign.”

Kampia declined to identify the other donors who contributed to the $1 million pool, and said the money will now be disbursed among other pro-cannabis campaigns around the country. MPP’s portion, he said, will be split up between one or more of the campaigns it’s supporting in Arizona, Maine and Massachusetts.

“This was a net loss for Arkansas,” Kampia said.

According to one media report, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which was the first campaign to make the ballot, had raised $141,252 by the end of June. Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana had raised $444,982 in the same time frame.