Issue 7 - The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act
Update - Issue 7 has been struck from the ballot
Know before you vote - Issue 7 fact sheet
Find out what supporters and opponents say about the issue by downloading the 2016 Arkansas Ballot Issues Voter Guide. The guide includes a handy reference sheet to help you remember your choices when it comes time to vote.
On Election Day, you will see only the popular name and title of each proposal. Want to read the rest of it? Here's a link to the complete text of Issue 7.
Watch our specialist's explain Issue 7 in the video below.
What's being proposed?
Voters are being asked to approve an initiated act, or a state law. If the majority of voters say yes, this amendment would:
- Make the regulated medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law, while recognizing the drug remains illegal under federal law.
- Establish a system for growing, acquiring and distributing marijuana for medical purposes.
- Identify medical conditions that qualify a person for using medical marijuana.
- Allow patients or their caregivers to grow marijuana for medical purposes if they live 20 or more miles away from a dispensary. The person would have to apply for a license to grow the plant.
- Direct the state Department of Health to establish rules related to registry identification cards, hardship cultivation certificates, the operations of nonprofit cannabis care centers and cannabis testing labs, and the addition of qualifying medical conditions.
- Protect qualified patients, caregivers, providers and doctors from arrest, prosecution, penalty or discrimination under Arkansas law. It does not offer protection from federal law.
- Allow cities and counties to limit the number of dispensaries and enact zoning regulations guiding where dispensaries may locate.
- Apply state and local taxes to the sale of medical marijuana and require that the state tax revenues offset the Department of Health administrative expenses and be used to assist low-income patients with acquiring the drug.
- Require the state to create a system for helping low-income people afford the drug.
How did this issue get on the ballot?
A citizen group collected signatures from more than 67,887 registered voters from at least 15 counties across the state.
Who is supporting or opposing this measure?
Opponents and supporters that spend money to campaign are required to register with the Arkansas Ethics Commission as aballot or legislative question committee. Visit the Commission's website to view these filings, which include names of people behind a group and how much money has been raised or spent.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care 2016 has filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission to support Issue 7. Coalition for Safer Arkansas Communities, Family Council Action Committee, Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana, Families First Action Committee and Arkansas for Free Enterprise have filed to oppose the measure.