Issue 7 passes first hurdle to stay on ballot; Remains hopeful that second lawsuit will fail, too.
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (September 22, 2016) — The Arkansas Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit today that could have removed Issue 7: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act from the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed by Arkansans Against Legal Marijuana, a coalition including the Farm Bureau, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Melanie Conway and the Family Council Action Committee, claimed the ballot title for Issue 7 was vague, misleading and didn’t cover all aspects of the act.
“We are pleased with today’s ruling from the Supreme Court on the challenge to Issue 7’s ballot title and are moving forward with the hopes of the same outcome for the lawsuit challenging our signatures,” said Melissa Fults, campaign director for The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.
Another lawsuit, filed by Kara Benca, a Little Rock attorney, challenges the signature collection process and claims to be able to remove 15,000 signatures, which would leave insufficient signatures for Issue 7 to remain on the ballot.
“After discussions with our attorney and the Secretary of State’s office, we believe that the SOS correctly certified Issue 7’s signatures. We are, however, deeply concerned by a recent disclosure that David Couch, the sponsor of the medical marijuana amendment known as Issue 6, paid the key witness, Heidi Gay of National Ballot Access, $30,000 to find errors in our signatures. Ms. Gay’s company, National Ballot Access, was also paid nearly $700,000 to collect signatures for Issue 6,” said Ryan Denham, deputy director for Issue 7: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.
The case which went to court this week and was heard by a master of the court will now go before the Arkansas Supreme Court. They have until October 18th to make a ruling.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care
Arkansans for Compassionate Care is a coalition of concerned patients, physicians and allies who agree that sick and dying patients should have access to medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. For tens of thousands of chronically-ill Arkansans, the relief afforded by medical cannabis helps them live comfortably without harmful side effects. But cannabis is currently unregulated and not legally available.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care offers a better choice: controlled access to a medicine that is proven to be both safe and effective, especially against the debilitating effects of chronic illness and harsh medical treatments.