Second Arkansas MMJ initiative poised to make ballot

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A second campaign in Arkansas to legalize medical marijuana submitted a final round of signatures to the secretary of state’s office on Friday, and it’s likely more than enough to secure the initiative a spot on the ballot, the Arkansas Times reported.

The campaign, Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana, gathered roughly 23,000 additional signatures to bolster the 72,309 the secretary of state already verified that were submitted in July. The campaign needs a minimum of 84,859 to make the November ballot, and attorney David Couch, who is spearheading the effort, is confident his group will make that threshold.

The problem, said Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia, is that Couch’s group is the second MMJ legalization measure that would be placed on the November ballot. Having two initiatives that would essentially do the same thing (despite plenty of smaller policy differences) essentially guarantees that they’ll both lose, Kampia said.

“Arkansas is a probable win if there’s one question on the ballot, and it’s a definite loss if there are two on the ballot,” Kampia said. “I’m calling this election early.”

The earlier measure, by Arkansas for Compassionate Care, was certified for the ballot in early July. A June poll found 58% of voters support legalizing MMJ in Arkansas.