by Max Brantley
"Realistically, the odds against this happening are overwhelming," Robert Reed, coordinator of Arkansans for Medical Cannabis and citizen-sponsor of the first Arkansas ballot title for the legalization and regulation of cannabis-hemp to gain approval by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, does not lament the fact that supporters now have just 24 days to gather and submit 78,133 'valid' signatures in order to qualify the Arkansas Hemp and Cannabis Amendment for a vote on the November ballot.
"It's just time to bring in the harvest," Reed —- a former Chief Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy and a disabled vet —- is adamant as a military man issuing an order.
"This is a 'People of Arkansas' issue," Reed, who hosts a weekly talk-radio show dedicated to cannabis education every Saturday at 3pm on Little Rock's KABF 88.3 "Voice of the People," elaborated. "No one is being paid to circulate petitions. No 'out of state' money is backing this initiative. What we have here is the result of many years work by a lot of people. And if the citizens of Arkansas want this to happen, everything is ready for them to make it work."
"This is a challenge to make history," Rick Morgan, owner of Hippie Hill - That 70's Store in Conway, has placed 3500 'ready to sign' petitions with businesses in Northwest Arkansas. "I'm having another 5000 printed for next week, but they still need signatures. So if anyone needs petitions, we have them here at That 70's Store, ready to sign, or pick some up if you think you can get them signed."
"At the press conference, we will have people who are knowledgeable about the whole issue to answer questions," Tommy Cauley, owner of Toad's Mean Green RV Park in Bee Branch, and otherwise known as The Arkansas Fishfinder, referenced the upcoming June 19 press conference scheduled for 12:30pm on the front steps of the Arkansas State Capitol building when the ad hoc group of supporters will announce how many signatures have come in and how many more are needed by July 7.
"And we would like to extend a special invitation to Jerry Cox and the Arkansas Family Council to work together with us through the process of shaping public policy, to safeguard everyone's well-being, honor family values, encourage responsible citizenship and help our communities thrive," Cauley concluded.
Details about the initiative, ready-to-print PDF petitions, canvasser instructions, links to educational resources and info about the June 19 press conference at the state capitol are posted at http://www.gozarks.com/hemp