67,000 Add Names To Get ‘Pot’ Initiative On Ballot

67,000 Add Names To Get ‘Pot’ Initiative On Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on July 03, 2004 at 17:24:03 PT
By Laura Kellams
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 
Advocates for legalizing marijuana for medicinal use said Friday they have submitted just over the minimum number of signatures needed to put the issue to a vote of Arkansans. Chloe Crater, a spokesman for the Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana, said the group turned in about 67,000 signatures and will continue seeking more over the next few weeks to replace any that may be declared invalid.
Secretary of State Charlie Daniels must certify that the petitions contain the signatures of 64,456 registered voters for the marijuana initiative to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot. Reed Martin of Conway, who has lung cancer that is in remission, said he sipped marijuana brewed in a tea while he underwent chemotherapy and radiation in 2001 and it helped soothe his pain. "Cancer is already exhausting, painful and frightening. I should not have to risk being hauled away from my family for simply trying to endure it," Martin said during a news conference at the state Capitol, which included about 20 supporters of the proposal. The initiated act proposed by the alliance would allow Arkansans with "debilitating medical conditions" to use marijuana, which they or a caregiver grow, on the advice of a physician. Crater and medical patients characterized the issue as a question of compassion, while opponents say it would open the door to legalization of marijuana. Opponents of the medical marijuana proposal say that it would muddy the state’s drug laws and render difficult the enforcement of criminal marijuana use in Arkansas. Larry Page, with the newly established state organization called the Coalition Against Legalized Marijuana, said he thinks there are "true believers" who want to help patients who are in pain. But he said the medicinal benefits of smoking marijuana have not been proven. "Despite their heartfelt and intense feelings, the medical marijuana is poor public policy and terrible medical policy," Page said. "Smoking crude marijuana is not necessary; it’s unsafe, it’s unproven." The marijuana initiative is one of two signature drives completed this week. Organizers of the first, a proposed amendment to constitutionally ban same-sex unions, turned in their petitions Thursday. The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee reported collecting 200,693 signatures, with a minimum of 80,570 needed to qualify for the ballot. Constitutional amendments require more signatures than initiated acts. John Riggs of Little Rock, a former Democratic state senator who tried and failed to pass similar medical marijuana proposals in the Legislature, said at the news conference that the issue isn’t complicated, but common sense. "Why would we want to continue wasting our state’s precious resources prosecuting sick people who are only trying to get relief from debilitating illnesses?" he said. The proposed law defines debilitating medical conditions as cancer, HIV-positive status or any condition that in a specific patient produces weakness and emaciation, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, muscle spasms or "any other serious or chronic physical or mental condition for which the recommending physician reasonably believes that marijuana has demonstrated utility." Medical use of marijuana would include the "manufacture, possession, delivery or administration" of marijuana for the exclusive benefit of mitigating the effects of a medical condition. The proposed law would require the Arkansas Department of Health to issue a registry card to anyone who has valid identification, pays an "affordable" fee and has written documentation of a debilitating medical condition with symptoms that might be mitigated by marijuana use. A person wouldn’t be subject to criminal prosecution of marijuana possession, delivery or manufacture if he has a registry card or is the "primary caregiver" of a cardholder or applicant. Someone under 18 could receive an identification card if they meet those requirements and a parent or guardian consents. Nine states have passed laws that protect patients who use marijuana as medication from arrest and imprisonment by state law enforcement. They are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. In Maryland, patients aren’t protected from arrest but they’re prevented from serving jail time for using marijuana for medical purposes. As in Arkansas, voters in Montana have an ongoing petition drive to get a medical marijuana law on the ballot. The Arkansas proposal wouldn’t protect patients from federal arrest or prosecution. Federal drug agents have raided homes of patients and marijuana growers in states that have similar laws on the books. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to consider whether the federal government has the authority to prosecute those who use marijuana medicinally in states where it’s legal. Patients who use marijuana say it eases nausea and increases appetite. Debbie Carter of Little Rock, a single mother who has a brain tumor, wouldn’t say whether she uses the illegal drug, but she said it should be legal for medicinal use. She said she’s lost 8 pounds while being on chemotherapy for the past 12 weeks. She said she has trouble keeping food down even while taking powerful antinausea drugs. "I prefer to deal with all this quietly in my own home," she said during the news conference. "I would prefer to take a natural medicine that I know from experience works." She said she’d urge voters to approve the measure if it’s on the ballot. "It is cruel to force us to choose between going without a medicine that could allow us to eat and risking arrest by trying the medicine anyway," she said. "People looking to alleviate their pain should not be criminals." Crater said the Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana will continue trying to gather signatures over the next couple of weeks in case the secretary of state’s office finds the group has fewer than 64,456 signatures of valid registered voters. Tim Humphries, lawyer for the secretary of state’s office, said if the alliance turned in the required number of signatures but some are invalidated, the group is allowed by law to submit more signatures to try to make up the difference. Crater said the Arkansas organization paid The Southwest Group of Las Vegas to gather signatures. The alliance benefited from $336,000 donated from Peter B. Lewis of Cleveland, chairman of Progressive Corp. insurance company, who has given large sums to other such causes. Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (AR)Author: Laura KellamsPublished: Saturday, July 3, 2004Copyright: 2004 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.Contact: voices ardemgaz.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:ARDPArk Alliance is Tardy for Ballot Committee Pot Act in Works for November Ballot Awaits Pot Opinion 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 09, 2004 at 23:16:13 PT
Related Article from
Group Drops Campaign For Legal Marijuana For Medical UseJuly 9, 2004A group that wanted to gather signatures for a ballot initiative that could have legalized marijuana for medical purposes dropped its Arkansas campaign Friday. Chloe Crater, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Coalition for Compassionate Care, said the campaign in Arkansas became too expensive. She said the main reason is that television advertising time has become more expensive because Arkansas is a battleground state in the presidential race. "It turned out to be much, much more expensive to carry on than we anticipated," Crater said. The group handed in about 70,000 signatures on July 2, hoping to have secured the 64,456 valid signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the Nov. 2 general election ballot. If the group met the minimum, it could continue collecting signatures for a month to help ensure it got enough valid names for the measure to make the ballot. A news release from the group said it estimated it needed another 50,000 signatures to be sure it had enough registered voters. "If there are enough verified signatures from July 2, obviously we will be on the ballot," Crater said. "We just decided not to continue to pursue petitions for the next 30 days." She said the initiative's supporters have active campaigns in Alaska, Montana, Nevada and Oregon that are further along than the one in Arkansas. Organizers in the other states have gathered all their signatures, she said. Crater said the group could make another run at the Arkansas ballot in the future. "While we are disappointed that we aren't able to continue this year, we are immensely proud of the foundation we've built," she said. "Nearly 70,000 Arkansans signed petitions to put the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot, and they let us know how much they supported our campaign." The effort for the initiative this year in Arkansas was aided by $336,000 in contributions from Ohio billionaire Peter Lewis. Organizers want to make it legal for cancer patients experiencing nausea and other ill people to be able to use marijuana without breaking the law. The proposal drew organized opposition. The Coalition Against Legalized Marijuana, a Christian conservative group formed to oppose the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, has accused Lewis of trying to ultimately make marijuana broadly legal.
What's New in Drug Policy Reform
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Comment #8 posted by siege on July 04, 2004 at 16:22:18 PT
What Walters doesn't knows:
I had triple by pass at children's hospital they work for the V. A. the six surgeons ( all about 35 yr.'s) said that i was high risk for stroke. They took me out on gurney for a (smoke of HERB )they stayed with me in about 15 i was under the knife. Stroke's had 2 but on harm came to me. 
The surgeons told me that if you are on marijuana that the normal blood (work) test doze not show you are have a heart attack you are good to go home. "" you have to tell them that you are on marijuana to get the right test done."" I have to believe them because they send me home the first time.Johnny P what do you think about your Dr's 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 04, 2004 at 13:35:40 PT
Related Article from The Associated Press
Medical Marijuana Supporters Submit PetitionsJuly 4, 2004 (Little Rock-AP) -- Supporters of a ballot initiative to authorize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes filed petitions Friday with the Secretary of State's office. How many remained an open question. The measure requires at least 64,456 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify for the Nov. 2 general election ballot, and a lawyer for the Secretary of State's office said initiative backers must turn in at least that number to be considered. They could get an extension to collect more signatures if the total fell below the required number during the Secretary of State's count. A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana refused to say how many names the group turned in today, although a signed affidavit accompanying the signatures said 66,282 were submitted, including 37,882 in Pulaski County. Opponents of the initiative said the safety and effectiveness are unsure and that synthetic T-H-C, the active ingredient in marijuana, and other prescription alternatives are available. Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on July 04, 2004 at 03:59:27 PT
I disagree.
"Smoking crude marijuana is not necessary; it’s unsafe, it’s unproven." Cannabis (marijuana) is safer than anything else used in the fight against cancer.That is evident from the 5,000 + years of proof We DO have.  And,isn't it interesting when doctors use a Mexican slang term (marijuana) to describe this beneficial plant and don't use slang terms for any other plant?
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Comment #5 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 03, 2004 at 21:04:04 PT
What Walters doesn't mention...
Walters says that medical marijuana is a prelude to legalizaing mrijuana. What Walters doesn't say is that if marijuana is legal for medical purposes, there's no reason not to legalize it for recreational purposes. Since the big pharmaceutical companies won't be making any money on it, might as well legalize it.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on July 03, 2004 at 21:02:32 PT
Why are some against medical cannabis?
The only reason some one could be against medical cannabis would be because, 1. they were woefully uninformed, 2. they are caught up in some type of insane prohibitionist frenzy for political or financial reasons, or 3. they are just plain cruel.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on July 03, 2004 at 18:39:49 PT
ck out a event
Jul 20 04 Williamston Sunrise Rotary 07:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Williamston Michigan USA 
 The Williamston Sunrise Rotary welcomes Board Member Howard Wooldridge to discuss viable alternatives to the failure of drug prohibition. Jul 21 04 Jacksonville Riverside Rotary. 07:30 AM Jacksonville Florida USA 
 One of LEAP's speakers takes time off from the NABCJ Conference to speak to the Jacksonville Riverside Rotary. Jul 21 04 Flint Sunrise Rotary 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Flint Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge is "In Like Flint" when he meets with members of the Flint Sunrise Rotary to discuss issues related to the failed war on drugs. Jul 22 04 Lansing-DeWitt Sunrise Rotary 07:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Lansing Michigan USA 
 Rise and shine with Board Member Howard Wooldridge as he breakfasts with members of the Lansing-DeWitt Sunrise Rotary and discusses issues related to the failed war on drugs. Jul 22 04 Garden City (Detroit) Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Garden City Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge grows tall and drops seeds of common sense when he meets with members of the Garden City (Detroit) Rotary to discuss issues related to drug prohibition. Jul 22 04 Civil Discourse Television Show 06:30 PM Jack Cole Jacksonville Florida USA 
 Ken Hurley, host of the Civil Discourse Television Show invites LEAP members for discussion of drug policy alternatives on Comcast Cable Access Channel 29. Featuring retired state police narc, Jack Cole and active senior prison warden, Dr. Richard Watkins. Jul 26 04 Canton Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Canton Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge lunches with members of the Canton Rotary to discuss the social and financial impact of the failed war on drugs. Jul 27 04 Dearborn Fairlane Rotary 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Dearborn Michigan USA 
 After cruising into town, Board Member Howard Wooldridge breakfasts with memebers of the Dearborn Fairlane Rotary to discuss the financial and social impact of the failed war on drugs. Jul 27 04 Delta-Waverly Rotary Club 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Lansing Michigan USA 
 Members of the Delta-Waverly Rotary Club lunch with Board Member Howard Wooldridge to discuss alternatives to the failed war on drugs. Jul 28 04 Woodhaven Rotary 07:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Woodhaven Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge breakfasts with members of the Woodhaven Rotary to explore viable alternatives to the failed war on drugs. Jul 28 04 Dearborn Heights Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Dearborn Heights Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge meets with members of the Dearborn Heights Rotary to discuss viable alternatives to the failed war on drugs. Jul 29 04 Lincoln Park (Metro Detroit) Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Lincoln Park Michigan USA 
 Honest Abe would be proud of Board Member Howard Wooldridge as he tells the truth about the failed war on drugs to members of the Lincoln Park (Metro Detroit) Rotary.
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on July 03, 2004 at 18:29:08 PT
book a leap Speaker
Howard will be doing our show on July 19 on Ch 19 in Kal. If you have a
radio or TV event or group that would like to hear Howard speak on the
dangers of the Drug War give him a call. Detroit will be voting for Med.
Cannabis Use on Aug.3 04> I arrive in Michigan on July 19th for the last two weeks of July.  I'd
> be happy to be on the show again. I will be spending the first week in
> Lansing and the second week near Detroit.
> I have 11 engagements = fair amount of free time.
> Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)
> Media Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (
> Dallas, Texas
> Howard J. Wooldridge
> 8412 Moorcroft
> Dallas, TX 75228
> 817-975-1110
> wooldridge
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on July 03, 2004 at 17:57:15 PT
I'll toke to that
There will be an election on the MMJ issue in Detroit a month from today. It is my belief that it will be an unbelievable blowout. Perception may well be reality for the individual, but the indisputable fact is that Free Cannabis has extreme value for the well-being of people's health. I am currently reading "8 Weeks To Optimum Health" by Dr. Andrew Weil. For me, it is impossible to have optimum health without cannabis. There is a serious hole in Dr. Weil's book as it does not even mention Miracleplant. Later I do want to draw a parallel using the importance of limiting the empty calories of refined sugar and the solution that is Stevia and the big money opposition using the corrupted FDA.Maybe Walters will humor us with another statement on the high water mark being reached two years ago. Now who in their right mind would expect anything that moves the MMJ laws to a more compassionate position to be defeated by WeThePeople? It is not going to happen and Detroit will show some real catching on to the fraud of the federal position. In the promotion for the CBC show that appeared last weekend, the fact that 92% of Canadians supported MMJ scrolled the screen. We will see how Detroit answers the question. It is not the yes or no that is of concern. It is the degree of Awakening that is of importance.Detroit is another proud American city that has fallen like Baltimore, but on a much larger scale. While everything here in piedmont NC is growth and more growth, Detroit saw white flight to the suburbs in grand style. Chrysler abandoned Detroit and so did the automotive jobs and Detroit fell below a million people with a high black population. It is a city with black leadership in office where everyone knows the corruption that grips the city is ruining all hopes of Renaisance that the fortress architecture of the Renaisance Center predicted.It is a city where misery is conversational currency and a billion dollars of urban renewal money would best be spent on tearing down buildings instead of building anything new. But it is also a city that cut like 1300 teaching jobs only to announce that like 1100 more will have to be cut immediately and that may not be enough. The people don't have adequate health care and charity and higher fees for those that can pay cannot stop closing access. The pain inflicted by CP will kill it eventually. The pain of Detroit is going to tell us that the people have had enough lies and nonsense. It could well be 90 percent for and 10 percent for by the ignorant and vested interest.
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