A total of 1,101,255 citizens of the state placed their vote. 585,030 favored yes and 516,525 favored no giving the green light to legalize marijuana for medical use.
The Department of Health had 120 days after November 9 to adopt rules for the following provisions of the amendment. These rules include: the manufacturing process, oversight for dispensaries, licensing applicants while considering what disability the patient had to have in order to smoke, and many more regulations regarding cultivation.
Many state representatives have tried fighting the bill since its approval voting. Representative Jason Rapert being the champion. The Conway Senator proposed a Senate Bill 238 which would delay Arkansas’s medical marijuana program until it became legal federally, which could take decades.
Other representatives, such as Douglas House spoke in opposition to Bill 238. He claims he has heard of many people benefitting from this drug and said on record, “As long as it’s being regulated by state law, (federal agents) will not persecute.”
SB 238 failed after the committee refused to take up a vote.
Rapert wasn’t done after his bill failed. The committee heard another Senate Bill 357 that would ban the smoking of marijuana. The patients would get the form of medical marijuana through stubbing his or her toe. According to the actual Medical Marijuana amendment, “toe stubbing” is not an approved method of taking the drug.
Rapert and other opponents claim that smoking marijuana is a “recreational use” and is not a medical form of intake.
Though this bill received much more traction than 238, it too failed under committee review and was motioned for expungement on March 13th.
Rivals of this bill seem to have put away any other proposition to diminishing medical marijuana from happening. The House recently passed an amendment to the Medical Marijuana Law that would require pharmacist to help with the process of dispensing marijuana to patients. This seems to be the first progressive step in implementing the new bill.
The importance now is to be sure the drug is administered in a safe and legal way. House Bill 2190 would guarantee that the pharmacy’s across the state would work with patients and legal authorities to maintain the integrity of the bill.
The applications for medical marijuana are underway and will start being reviewed July 1.