By Derrick Stanley
Medical marijuana advocates in Arkansas are scrambling to meet a July 8 deadline to submit petitions for medical marijuana legalization. They worry that competing measures may divide support for the issue.
"It will be enough to split the vote and both will fail," said Melissa Fults, campaign director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care.
Fults says her group has gathered over 70,000 valid signatures from registered voters, well over the 67,887 required to get the act on the ballot. They plan to continue gathering signatures to ensure that any duplicate or invalid signatures are taken into consideration.
The Arkansans for Compassionate Care had their initiative approved by former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in September of 2014, and the group has been gathering signatures and support ever since.
David Couch, the Little Rock lawyer behind a competing medical marijuana proposal, says he's not worried about the prospect of both measures being on the ballot. Couch said he's gathered support from more than 40,000 registered voters, nearly half of the 84,859 required to put his plan on the ballot. Because his proposal would be a constitutional amendment, it requires more signatures.