According to THV11, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, referred to as Issue 6, was passed by Arkansas voters on Tuesday, Nov. 8 with approximately 52.2 percent of voters in favor.
Arkansas was among three states that approved legalizing medical marijuana, along with Florida and North Dakota. A similar amendment failed to pass in 2012.
According to an article published by KARK4 on Nov. 8, Issue 6 covers 12 conditions. These conditions include cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe arthritis, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In a statement released soon after the amendment passed, Family Council President Jerry Cox said the fight is not over and that the battle will now shift to the Arkansas Legislature. Cox also claimed in the statement that a “clever and grossly misleading advertising campaign” was responsible for the passing of Issue 6.
“Hundreds of thousands of otherwise healthy people will soon qualify to use marijuana recreationally,” Cox said. “It puts our children in harm’s way while a handful of businessmen get rich selling everything from marijuana candy to rolled joints as ‘medicine.’ We plan to fight tooth and nail to protect Arkansans from the consequences of this amendment.”
Senior Hannah Wolfe said that although some individuals may pursue a medical marijuana license for the wrong reasons, she supports Issue 6. According to Wolfe, she has a family friend who was born with a disorder that caused frequent seizures resulting in severe brain damage.
“He is 14-years-old, but because of the brain damage, he acts as a 2-year-old,” Wolfe said. “He is in severe pain most days and, because Issue 6 has passed, his family is now able to get medical marijuana in order to lessen his pain.”
According to a separate article published Nov. 6 by KARK4, the Arkansas Department of Health will regulate all patient care aspects and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will perform inspections of facilities. The measure will also establish the Medical Marijuana Commission in order to administer and regulate the licensing of these facilities. Qualifying patients will be allowed to buy marijuana from dispensaries with a doctor’s permission.
“Medical marijuana has the ability to take away the pain of those that are sick and hurting,” Wolfe said. “I also know a woman who is suffering from cervical cancer and was about to move to a state where medical marijuana was legal, but luckily Issue 6 passed, and now she does not have to leave her family.”