Arkansas lit up over legal pot issue - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Arkansas lit up over legal pot issue

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On the streets of West Memphis, Ark., you will see all kinds of political signs, but what you won't see is any political sign for or against Issue 5.

Gary Fults is the field director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care. He is one of those behind the push for the legalization of medical marijuana in Arkansas

"West Memphis was a place where we really couldn't get anybody that wanted to help with the program," Fults said.

If legalized, Issue 5 would require medical marijuana users to carry a card. Medical marijuana would come from 30 planned dispensaries around the state. Those with prescriptions also would have the option of growing up to six plants a year for personal medical use.

Some of those in eastern Arkansas just don't like the idea.

"There's enough drugs with people taking medication, you start smoking marijuana," said an unidentified motorist. "I mean, that's been illegal for years. Now, all of a sudden you legalize it. I don't think that's right."

The proposed law cites 15 diseases that medical marijuana could be used to treat. There is some concern that some might fake an affliction to get a prescription.

"I think they are sadly mistaken," Fults said. "Under the law in California or Colorado, maybe, and some other places, but our law is patterned after New Mexico and Maine's law. Both of those state have very few problems with their medical marijuana programs."

While FOX13 News did not find any campaign signs supporting  Issue 5 in eastern Arkansas, it wasn't hard to find someone who would support it.

"Well, it depends on the patient, how bad their eyes are and stuff, depends on the doctor if they truly need it, that is what I know about it," said Thomas Shepperman of West Memphis.

Fults believes that Arkansas is going to pass medical marijuana by 55-60-percent. He's being optimistic because of the positive feedback that he is getting back from those who are working the polls.

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