Arkansas court upholds medical marijuana proposal

September 27, 2012

(AP)—The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a proposed ballot measure Thursday that, if successful, would make the state the first in the more conservative southern U.S. to legalize medical marijuana.

Justices rejected a challenge by a coalition of conservative groups who wanted to block the measure from a November vote.

The measure would allow patients with qualifying conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease, to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor's recommendation. A provision would allow minors to use it with parental consent.

The proposal acknowledges that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but opponents argue that it doesn't adequately explain that users could face federal prosecution.

"This is about the first incremental step to legalizing marijuana for recreational use," said coalition member Larry Page, the director of the Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in some fashion. Massachusetts voters are also expected to vote on the issue this fall, while the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that a medical marijuana initiative can't appear on that state's ballot.

The Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project has provided most of the funding for the Arkansas campaign, contributing $251,000.

Officials with the group said they stepped in after polling showed strong support for the measure. Group leaders also cited a "symbolic" value in passing a medical marijuana law in the South.

"I think it's a sign that marijuana policy reform is an idea that is coming of age now across the nation, rather than just in the states where we've seen it so far," said Morgan Fox, the group's communications director. "It's really an important moment."

Gov. Mike Beebe, who is opposed to the proposal, told reporters he doesn't believe voters would legalize medical marijuana.

Explore further: Medical marijuana backers seek inroads in South

shares

Related Stories

Medical marijuana backers seek inroads in South

September 3, 2012
(AP)—The home state of the president who didn't inhale has become an unlikely front in the battle over medical marijuana.

US governors seek federal marijuana clearance

December 1, 2011
A pair of US governors have filed a petition asking the US federal government to allow wider use of medical marijuana by authorizing doctors to prescribe it and pharmacies to provide it.

Adolescents in substance abuse treatment report using someone else's medical marijuana

July 31, 2012
A study published in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that diverted medical marijuana use among adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse is very ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.