TIME Arkansas

Arkansas Can Vote on Medical Marijuana Proposal in November, State Supreme Court Rules

It would allow some patients to purchase marijuana from dispensaries

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can consider a medical marijuana proposal on the November ballot.

Justices sided with supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. The proposal is one of two medical marijuana proposals on the ballot.

A coalition of groups, including the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Farm Bureau, had asked the court to prevent officials from counting any votes for the measure in the Nov. 8 election.

The measure allows patients with certain conditions to buy the drug, but differs from the second proposal in their restrictions and regulations. For example, the competing proposal allows patients to grow their own marijuana if they don’t live near a dispensary.

Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a medical marijuana proposal four years ago, despite national groups spending big in favor of legalization. Meanwhile, national support for medical marijuana has grown, and half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug in some fashion.

The medical pot push faces more obstacles this year. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who headed the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, has spoken out against the measures. The state Democratic Party’s platform includes general support for legalizing medical marijuana, but the platform is silent on the two ballot measures.

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