A watershed year for marijuana | Arkansas Blog

A watershed year for marijuana

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GATHERING PETITIONS: One of the medical marijuana advocates.
  • GATHERING PETITIONS: One of the medical marijuana advocates.

The New York Times writes this morning
 that more than half the states may consider ballot measures this year to legalize use of marijuana in some fashion. It's a movement that cuts across geographic and red state/blue state lines. The measures underway are split about equally between full legalization or medical use only.

Advocates of both flavor of marijuana decriminalization are at work in Arkansas. Petitions with 62,507 signatures must be submitted by July 7 for the 2014 ballot. The attorney general has signed off on the form of a medical marijuana initiative by Arkansans for Compassionate Care and another by Arkansans for Responsible Medicine. Some other ideas, including a straight legalization, are still working through the language review process. The Compassionate Care group continues to include a small grow-your-own provision, a factor that was considered important in the narrow defeat of a 2012 initiative.

Polls favor pot. So, too, do recent successful initiatives and the hands-off approach to legalized states by Obama's Justice Department. Opponents are mobilized, too.

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