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Latest Arkansas Polls Show Vast Support For Medical Cannabis

Arkansas Polls Support Medical Cannabis
Photo by Gracie Malley


Latest Arkansas Polls Show Vast Support For Medical Cannabis

It’s only a matter of time before whole-plant medical cannabis becomes legal in the South. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has validated 77,516 signatures for the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act of 2016 (AMCA). The initiative will be put before registered voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The initiative would legalize medical cannabis by a doctor’s recommendation for patients with 56 qualifying conditions, including Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer, autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s Disease, MS and fibromyalgia, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The initiative includes personal at-home cultivation of no more than five flowering and five non-flowering plants.

If passed, Arkansas would officially become one of the first southern states with such a program and will join 25 other states and Washington D.C. in allowing doctors to write recommendations for cannabis. There are similar measures in Florida and Missouri that are both polling favorably and are likely to pass.

Support Still Strong Among Likely Voters

The final results from the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll indicate strong support among Arkansas voters for medical marijuana. In the latest survey, conducted June 21, 2016 among 751 likely Arkansas voters, 58 percent of those polled supported medical marijuana sales through non-profit dispensaries.

“Going back to the 2012 election cycle when medical marijuana first popped up on the policy agenda in Arkansas, we have polled the issue a number of times. Polling this week reiterates that Arkansans appear ready for the medical use of marijuana to become public policy in Arkansas as the survey shows a comfortable lead (58 percent to 34 percent) for such a measure,” Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College who helped to create the poll, said.

Compassion is a Grassroots Bipartisan Issue

Volunteers with Arkansans for Compassionate Care collected signatures across the Natural State, despite the expected “reefer-madness” from groups such as the Arkansas Family Council. Jerry Cox, president of Family Council is currently fundraising $10,000 for a statewide anti-marijuana campaign.

“Certain groups of voters are especially supportive of the measure,” Barth says. “Democrats (74 percent support), African-Americans (73 percent support), Second Congressional District residents (65 percent support), and those aged 30 to 44 (73 percent) are all disproportionately supportive. Still, the concept leads among all groups of Arkansas voters with only one exception: the state’s Republican voters. Even with that group, the proposal is tied (45 percent support and 45 percent opposition).”

The same question was brought to voters in September of this year, it showed an even larger 84 percent of Arkansans agree that adults should be allowed to use physician-prescribed cannabis. The results from these surveys show an overwhelming population of Arkansans are in favor of medical cannabis. It’s time for natural medicine for the Natural State.

Do you think it’s time for the Natural State to embrace natural medicine? Let us know.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John1965

    July 28, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Unfortately there is a competing medical marijuana initiative that will split the vote. The second is a state contitutional amendment. It is set up differently. It does not allow for people to grow their own under any circumstances while the first one allows people to grow their own only if they live at least 20 miles from a dispensary. Many say the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment allows for monopolies to be set up too.

    The folks behind the amensment did not turn in enough signatures to be on the ballot, but were only about 12,000 short and they’ve been given 30 more days to collect those. They’ve been bad mouthing the other initiative. Both groups are bickering with one another saying their petition is better than the other. We may have a majority who want medical marijuana in Arkansas, but if one initiative was on the ballot if it got enough votes it would be by a thin margin, maybe 51%. Old people and church people will out vote young people. It always turns out that way so the 58% from the opinion poll will only translatell to 51% in the voting booths if we’re lucky. The big problem is that if part of that 51% vote for one and the other part vote for the other medical marijuana initiatve, both will lose badly.

    I am hoping and praying the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment does not get eno ugh signatures because two initiatives would split vote and make both lose. They are so close that they probably will get enough though, so I plan on voting for both. Everyone should vote for both or neither stands a chance.

    That’s not going to happen though of course. A lot of people will vote for one and not the other. I think the guys with the second initiative must be secretly opposed to medical marijuana. They have gotten a lot of money from liquor stores for some reason. The AMMA is killing the chances that we will have a medical marijuana initiative pass this year, so we are probably looking at 2020 before it can happen. I absolutely will vote for their initiative if it makes it on the ballot though, because either one would be better than no medical marijuana.

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