Groups supporting tort reform, casinos, and medicinal marijuana all submitted petition signatures Friday to the Secretary of State’s office — their goal is getting their proposed amendments on the Arkansas ballot in November.
Supporters of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment submitted approximately 106,000 signatures Friday. The amendment would allow for 40 dispensaries and 8 “cultivation sites” in Arkansas if it became law. David Couch, an attorney for the group, told Talk Business he expects that the group will have to collect more signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care, a group advocating a separate medical marijuana measure, announced earlier this week that they’d been approved for ballot access in November after collecting enough valid signatures.
Yesterday’s deadline allows groups more time to solicit signatures if they fall short of the required 84,859 valid signatures to get on the ballot. Groups also need 75 percent of the required valid signatures statewide — as well as in 15 counties — by yesterday’s deadline.
Robert Coon, a spokesman for Arkansas Wins in 2016, said yesterday that the committee formed to support passage of a constitutional amendment that would allow casinos in Boone, Washington, and Miller Counties had submitted 92,120 signatures.
Should we fall short, we’re prepared to obtain the additional signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot during the 30-day cure period. We remain confident in our team and our strategy and believe that voters will recognize the value that passage of this amendment will bring to the state of Arkansas when they cast their ballots in November.
Finally, Health Care Access For Arkansas, a ballot committee advocating passage of a constitutional amendment limiting trial lawyers’ contingency fees and non-economic damages in medical lawsuits, announced Friday afternoon that they’d collected approximately 131,000 signatures and were confident the issue would be on the ballot in November.
Chase Dugger, executive director of Health Care Access For Arkansas:
There is no doubt that Arkansans see the need to rein in greedy trial attorneys. The people have made their concerns clear: rising health care costs, access to affordable care, and the impact predatory trial attorneys have on medical professionals, hospitals, and clinics in our state.
With approval from Arkansans this fall and legislative action next year, we will see improvements in access to health care, lower consumer costs, and ensuring that the bulk of medical-jury awards go to the injured parties, and not trial attorneys. Similar reforms have benefited citizens in over half of the other states in our nation.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on whether these measures will be on the ballot in November.