Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Medical marijuana initiative qualifies for ballot

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM

medical marijuana image

The secretary of state's office today said that Arkansans for Compassionate Care has turned in a sufficient number of signatures to qualify its proposal to allow Arkansans with qualifying medical conditions to purchase marijuana from non-profit dispensaries.

A slight plurality said they'd support the measure in a Talk Business-Hendrix College poll last month.

Jay Barth writes about the bump the measure's inclusion on the ballot could give to Arkansas Democrats.

Whether the measure is approved or not, turnout created by the issue could have ramifications for the partisan races elsewhere on the ballot. Specifically, based on what has happened with medical marijuana measures and pot decriminalization proposals in other states, there is evidence that the issue could draw to the polls voters whom Democrats traditionally rely upon but who typically turn out at lower levels than other groups.

The data from the Talk Business-Hendrix College poll provides additional evidence for this notion. In a year in which there is deep concern among Democratic partisans about turnout of their base because of the president's unpopularity in the state, the measure is favored by just over 60 percent of Democrats, with a similar percentage of Republicans opposing the measure. Moreover, the proposal draws the support of over 60 percent of those under 30 and 57 percent of African-Americans — two groups whose electoral participation is crucial if Democrats are to avoid historic losses in the state's legislative and congressional elections. Consider, for instance, the potential power of the measure to promote college student turnout in the hard-fought state Senate election between Democratic Rep. Linda Tyler and Republican Sen. Jason Rapert in Conway, a race that could well determine control of the state Senate in 2013.

In short, the Democratic Party of Arkansas would be well served by the Medical Marijuana Act's making the ballot. High-profile Democrats like Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel have voiced opposition to the proposal. But, they would be real winners if advocates of the act gain the resources and media attention to more fully publicize the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act as the voters drawn to the polls are quite likely to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • More reminders of how bad Arkansas's prison, parole and probation systems are

    Arkansas has the fastest growing prison population in the country. In 2015, the state admitted 70 percent more people to prison than it did in 2012. That growth was driven by parole and probation violators, a researcher reminded the Legislative Criminal Justice Task Force today.
    • Jun 22, 2016
  • The Stealth Brownback Edition

    The political response to the Pulse massacre, Razorback stadium expansion and Max’s characterization of Gov. Hutchinson as “stealth Brownback” — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 17, 2016
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: Summer Fun edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jun 3, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas cities lag in 'equality index' for LGBT people; Fayetteville leads

    The Human Rights Campaign has assessed treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in 353 cities, including five in Arkansas, and the result puts Fayetteville on top of those studied in Arkansas, though all fall below the national average score.
    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Homicide victim identified as TC Edwards, local musician

    Little Rock police are still withholding identification of a man found shot to death early Sunday on Howard Street, but multiple reports on social media are tying the death to that of a well-known figure on the local music scene, TC Edwards. The suspect in a criminal case brought over crimes against Edwards will likely be reviewed for potential involvement in his death.
    • Dec 8, 2014
  • The legislative social calendar: Courtesy of the lobbyists of Arkansas

    Legislators in town this week for orientation need bring no money for drinks and eats — special interests are picking up the tab three meals a day. The business lobby runs the social calendar for the Arkansas legislature, ethics amendment or no ethics amendment.
    • Dec 9, 2014

Most Shared

  • Lawsuit filed over settlement in forum-shopping class action case

    The lawyers facing disciplinary action by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith over their settlement of a class action lawsuit against the USAA insurance company have a new legal headache.
  • Cherokee tribe backs the casino amendment

    NOW, I get it. The group circulating petitions for a constitutional amendment to establish casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties reveals that the deal anticipates operation of the casino in Washington County by the Cherokee tribe that now has casino operations in Oklahoma.
  • Highway Department: Key parts of new Clarendon bridge installed upside down.

    The future of the old Highway 79 bridge at Clarendon is uncertain, but it's a good thing the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department jump the gun on demolishing it.  That's because the new bridge at Clarendon — or at least the western approach, which is elevated over U.S. Fish and Wildlife wetlands — is snakebit.
  • A modest proposal for charter schools

    It was just a little over a year ago when Baker Kurrus was hired as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. With new Education Commissioner Johnny Key there was a strong concern that the Little Rock school system would be converted to all charter schools and the entire public education system would disappear.
  • Mansion wars

    It has never been as consequential as Versailles, which helped trigger the French Revolution, but the royal palace of Arkansas's First Family has always been an object of political intrigue.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation