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New Lawsuit Filed to Block Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives in Arkansas

1 Indest-2008-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On September 6, 2016, a coalition of groups already attempting to block a medical marijuana measure from the Arkansas ballot asked the state’s highest court to also disqualify a competing legalization proposal. The coalition called “Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana” asked the state Supreme Court to prevent election officials from counting any votes for the proposal to allow patients with certain conditions to buy and use marijuana. The proposal is among two medical marijuana proposals on the November 8, 2016, ballot.

The Coalition Alleges that the Proposal Misleads Voters.

The coalition, which includes the state Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Farm Bureau, said in its complaint that the proposal misleads voters and leaves out key information about the measure’s effects. “It contains misleading statements, omits material information that is essential for a fair understanding of the Act, and is tinged with partisan coloring,” the complaint reads in part.

Additionally, according to the complaint, the ballot title “falsely tells voters that the Act limits the use of marijuana,” “gives the false impression that all marijuana will be tested for quality, safety, and potency” and “fails to tell the voters that the Act permits ‘cannabis care centers’ to sell food and drink that contains marijuana,” among other issues.

The claims are similar to those in its lawsuit against the competing medical marijuana measure.

“In my view and in the view of my organization these two pieces of legislation are similar and are almost indistinguishable,” said state Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, the coalition’s spokesman.

Back in 2012, Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a medical marijuana proposal. David Couch, the sponsor of the new measure challenged, noted that proposal survived a similar challenge before the court and said he was confident his proposal would also prevail.

The Challenges Against the Proposals.

Both Couch’s proposal and the competing initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana, but they differ in their regulations and restrictions.

The proposal from Arkansans for Compassionate Care is also fending off a separate challenge from Kara Benca, a Little Rock attorney, which argues the group didn’t follow reporting restrictions for its canvassers.

The lawsuit filed against Couch’s proposal says the ballot title fails to tell voters it would allow dispensaries to sell food and drink that contain marijuana. It also says the ballot title doesn’t tell voters the impact the measure would have on employers, landlords, churches and schools.

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Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

To contact the Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Source:

DeMillo, Andrew. “New lawsuit filed over medical marijuana effort in Arkansas.” Chicago Tribune. (September 6, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawfirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone; (407) 331-6620.

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