|Updated: 7/16/2012 1:04 am
||Published: 7/15/2012 7:18 pm
Medical marijuana supporters are scrambling to collect an additional 26,012 signatures needed to get the petition on the November ballot.
Volunteers need 62,507 voters to support the measure. The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care turned in nearly 70,000 signatures July 5th to the Secretary of State's Office, but only 36,495 are valid. That means the group has 30 days to collect more signatures to meet the state's requirements to get the initiative on the November ballot.
Campaign Director Ryan Denham says its crunch time, and volunteers are working hard in all four corners of the state. Denham says only 55% percent of the original petitions turned in count because some people may have signed the petition twice. "The duplicates were removed, and a lot of people might not know if they're registered voters or not."
Arkansans for Compassionate Care has spent more than a year pushing for this medical marijuana initiative. Denham says despite the number of signatures they collect in the next 30 days, the group won't stop fighting for this issue. "We're confident and feeling good that we have a great chance to make the ballot. We want to give patients the chance to use a medicine their doctor recommends."
If the group can collect the additional 26,012 required signatures in time, voters will get to deicide in November if Arkansas will become the 18th state allowing medical marijuana.
A similar initiative failed several years ago however, the group says this time around they have more public support.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care is holding a statewide signing event on Saturday, July 28th. Visit www.arcompassion.org for more information.