The following is a press release from Family Council Action Committee.
On Thursday the Secretary of State announced that a measure legalizing medical marijuana had enough valid petition signatures to be certified for the November ballot in Arkansas.
Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox issued a statement vowing to oppose the measure, saying, “This measure will allow most people to grow their own marijuana at home. It is nothing more than the second verse of the very same song marijuana supporters have been singing since 2012. It opens marijuana stores and marijuana farms in our communities. It’s written so broadly that virtually any healthy adult with pain or nausea will be able to finagle a way to use marijuana. There won’t be any prescriptions from a doctor—just a note. No pharmacies will dispense it, and no one will regulate the content or dosage. It will force the Arkansas Department of Health to spend millions of tax dollars on the state’s marijuana program.”
Cox said his group will verify the marijuana proposal’s petitions. “The first thing we plan to do is examine every page of the petitions. We are going to double-check the validity of the petitions and the petition signatures. If the sponsors or their canvassers have committed fraud or broken the law, we are prepared to take them to court. Arkansas law is very detailed about how petitions for a ballot proposal must be handled and how signatures must be collected. If there are problems with petitions themselves or with the signatures on the petitions, the measure could be disqualified from the ballot.”
Cox said his group is considering a legal challenge against the proposal as well. “We’re also considering a legal challenge against the measure’s ballot title and popular name. I think we can all agree voters need to know exactly what they are voting on. This measure is 10,000 words long. The ballot title and popular name for the November ballot are misleading and they fail to adequately inform the voter about the true nature of the measure. In the past, the Arkansas Supreme Court has removed deceptive measures from the ballot. If the measure ends up on the ballot this November, however, we will mount a grassroots campaign to encourage people to vote against it.”
Cox said he does not believe public opinion on marijuana has significantly changed in the past four years. “This same issue was defeated in the election of 2012, and I believe the people of Arkansas are wise enough to see through this sham and vote it down again. They don’t want their neighbors growing it in their backyards. They don’t want marijuana stores on Main Street. They don’t want kids flashing their marijuana cards at school, and they don’t want to drive the highways with stoned drivers in the oncoming lane.
“People who never plan to use marijuana can still be hurt or killed by it.”
Family Council Action Committee is a conservative 501(c)(4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.