Arkansas Voters Reject Medical Marijuana Issue

Issue 5, which would have legalized the medical use of cannabis in Arkansas and made it the first southern state to do so, was rejected by voters in a projected defeat with 52% voting NO to 48% YES (with 73% of the vote tallied).

NORML would like to thank all the dedicated activists and supporters on the ground in Arkansas who fought very hard for this initiative. We will keep you posted on future news regarding Arkansas and cannabis law reform.

33 thoughts

  1. as an arkansan i appologize for the majority of my state. myself and others close to me worked hard to get this issue on the ballot. it is a sad day for arkansas.

  2. Hey Arkys! Nice try. At least you made an inroad into the South! Here’s hoping you succeed in your next try!

  3. This is a win any way you look at it. 48% in the most conservative state in the U.S. far exceeded my wildest expectations. Great job people. To me this is even more promising than the great news out of WA and CO. By the way Republicans won control of the state legislature last night so they would have nullified the new law even if it had won.

  4. It’s a sad day for sick people in AR. Most likely the “red” turnout in the state killed MMJ. Soon it will become purple as even dumb ass republicans will start to see the light… maybe.

  5. Sitting in California it breaks my heart to see Oregon and Arkansas patients suffer. I’m not so sure we are all that safe even in California.

    Why does it have to be like this? Even when you win, there’s still trouble. And it’s not like we are causing the trouble, it’s government actions preying on us, intimidating us, creating uncertainty. If we pulled the same crack raids thing on these government agencies’s pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid, Wallmart, Kaiser, or Sutter, they’d call it domestic terrorism.

    How about raiding the medical schools?

    This is nuts.

    They now tie the 2nd amendment to cannabis, thereby breaking their OATH OF OFFICE.

    People are in pain and suffering, cannabis helps cut through this, keeping this illegal tortures people, so if you voted against this, you voted to TORTURE PEOPLE, people your neighbor, or your friend, or your family member. Yes this insanity is all the way down to brainwashed family ritual by way of years of disinformation.

    What would happen if Cannabis was not Schedule 1?

    Perhaps that is what this fight should be about. Then all folks suffering in all states could have it.

    Last thing I want to bring up here is Obamacare vs Cannabis. Don’t we technically (like in friggin common sense) have healthcare when we are medical cannabis patients? We’ve seen a doctor, although we don’t have a doctor on call 24/7.

    Another thing to think about is folks who have had no healthcare for 30+ years, and are chronic sick X,Y,Z because of it. They don’t work because of it, they don’t have money because of it, now suddenly when there is no hope as the rotten neglect has set it’s ugly path on folks, they legally have to buy a “widget” e.g. obamacare by law?! Are you kidding me? It may have taken someone 30 years of living in PAIN, to finally FIND cannabis recently, after not having a doctor. Things may be good for them because of cannabis and yet now, it’s illegal and you have to buy a widget instead. A widget which says, I CAN’T HELP YOU YOU ARE TOO MESSED UP

    IT forces the same sick folks to BREAK the law and go to underground sources at a time when everything is being spied on and exploited in the name of state secrets.

    Yeah this country has problems. My heart goes out to you Arkansas and Oregon. If the electronic vote machines didn’t get you, surely the media and rest of the jackals did.

  6. I’m from the Northeastern part of the US and work with many people from the southern US. I got to tell people reading this post who dont know anything about the south is that there’s alot of ignorance there, and let’s not forget the bible belt because this also is a factor. Now lets not forget racism here which I believe does play a factor no matter how big or small.
    I’m sure that alcohol consumption there is considered a non-issue but God forbid you are a marijuana user. Regardless to the fact that Alcohol has caused much more pain, death and destruction than the evil weed will ever cause. Arkansas residents who voted against should be ashamed of yourselves.

  7. In the future this will change. As the white majority becomes the minority, so will prohibition laws. No way the latino nor blacks in Georgia will put up with their populations being incarcerated at a higher rate due to a year old law that was designed to target blacks and latinos.

  8. Ohk so Can out of staters goto Colorado or Washington and purchase pot freely? any idea on how the setup will work and process in purchasing is gonna be???

    Imagine all the visitors these states will bring in…

  9. Being from Arkansas, I am sad for everyone that would’ve benefited from Medical Marijuana being passed. Everyone should be entitled to their medicine!! And to our baptist hypercrites b/c well they seem to run the show and decide what happens and doesn’t happen here. READ YOUR BIBLE more closely because it states GOD left us all seed bearing plants.
    I am very happy for the states that did get it passed.

  10. Where to begin?……… As an old man of 65 years, I look back to the “Old Folks” I have admired through-out my life who did not toe the line and subscribe to the rules. And when we were young we were sure that we were going to open peoples eyes and wake them up, and change the “Rules”……Were we wrong????? Now I am an old man, and after all these years it is evident we have not advanced very far at all………………..against these Rules, “Rules” set down by an outrageously hypocryitical society that worships and indulges in a form of medieval reveree in the persecution, and the profits gleaned by the prosecution, of an antiquated and immoral belief in ” Twisted Puritanical Doctrine” mixed with an even more dangerous Profit driven “Prison Industrial Complex!.

    Over these last fourty plus years, us ‘ol Hippies have believed that common scense laws would eventually prevail and “society” would “chill out”, and realize there is nothing bad about getting stoned now and again, and that the “demon weed” does not lead to anyone becoming a sex deviant or gutter-hype junkie.(with the exception of some southern baptists and evangelical shit-heads,but fuck them and their offspring too!)

    There are cures for ignorance; I don’t know of any cures for stupidity!


  11. It ended up being 51-49. I was born in Arkansas and lived here my whole life. This shocked even me. 49% in this state FOR…. imagine the rest of the states!!! you guys have a shot if we can make it this far!! LET’S GET IT PASSED IN ALL THE STATES!!!

  12. all you people are dumb you blame republicans for anti mj laws but your good buddy obama and eric holder who he apointed as us district attorney keeps busting you guys in cali. wake up and smell the coffe assholes

  13. what do expect from the “hate”land of America As far as didpensary raids Imagine going to your doctor & he/she prescribes You medicine You go to your local pharmacy to get your medicine to pick up your meds but its been raided by the feds Now what Your fucked! Where is your condtitutional protection as a law abiding tax paying citizen & a doctors patient??

  14. As a northerner who moved to the south 15 years ago I can tell you most of the negative stereotyping comments I’m reading here show true ignorance. It’s no wonder with attitudes like that that most of these efforts fail. Also to the anonymous person who mentioned AR as the most conservative state, this is not the case, just more ignorance. This also goes for those ripping on Republicans as some monolithic group, I am one for lack of a better classification and I’ve supported these effort since my teens, I am not alone. A good number of republicans I know (non-smokers included) do as well, not because they love the idea but because it’s a states rights and individual liberty issue for them, not to mention most understand the free-market and know the WoD is an utter failure and has only aided in expanding the police state. So back off with that generalized rhetoric, all you do is hurt the cause with it. Also use your heads – there is no way the vote got that close in AR without some level of support from republican voters – keep that mind. In fact I’m rather surprised it was that close. To all those in AR who worked to get this issue on the ballot and worked hard to get the votes for it thank you, you should be proud you got very close, try again in a few years.

    There is great opportunity with the CO and WA victories to show this can be done without causing mass harm, it’s up to the tokers in those states not to screw it up. Voters in other states will be watching, be responsible and set a good example and other states will follow in time.

  15. I live in north Fl,born and raised,45 y/o.I am very suprised at how close it was in Ark.Bible thumpers in the south have a lot of power.I agree with Johnny Obama and Holder are no friends of mj.I hope I dont regret voting for O.

  16. I live in Arkansas now and it is just a small delay. It will pass next time. I expect the Feral government to repeal prohibition in the next few years and most of Latin America will also. The drug war is over as we know it. The people of Colorado and Washington will go down in history for starting the boulder rolling. Let’s not forget California’s 1996 jump start. A huge Thank you to all that made this happen

  17. just think guys the feds make more money on mj being illegal than making legal when the tax money from the war on drugs stop that would be a win for us but not them and MONEY is what they want

  18. Time for a recount and investigation for possible fraud. Come on over 1 million votes and only 30,000 out of 1,068,926
    Voter Turnout: 66.05 %
    SH#T probably over 30K must have voted for prop5 in Pulaski and Faulkner counties. I smell a rat!

  19. As a Tennessean my perspective is that a loss this close is a kind of victory. It likely will pass the next time it makes the ballot but beyond that it will give courage to legislatures across the south who now have solid evidence that even here the tide of public opinion is turning.

    Most southerners don’t have the option of voter sponsored initiatives, we have to rely on our elected representatives to introduce legislation. I watched some video from the committee hearings on Tennessee’s medical marijuana bill last year (which died in committee one step further along than the year before) and the one thing that was obvious wasn’t that the majority was opposed to liberalizing marijuana laws, it was that the majority was incredibly uncomfortable with taking a position on the issue. There needs to be a more open conversation here so that our legislators will realize they can vote for medical cannabis or decriminalization without alienating their base.

    Also, contrary to some of the previous posts, in much of the south this is not a racial issue and it’s not going to help to try to paint it as one. If you combined eastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee into one region it would not only be overwhelmingly white it would also be the #1 weed producing area in the country. Prohibition is profitable for local law enforcement due to seizure laws and almost everyone has at least one friend or family member who’s been busted and had a pile of cash and a few weeks/months/years of their life sucked into the legal system. It’s a different paradigm than than the uneven application of laws between inner city blacks and suburban white kids that has fueled outrage in more urban areas.

  20. I recommend everyone writing to their congressmen and senators and telling them that they will never vote for another tax increase on anything, ever, period, until we tax the legal sales of marijuana. Point out that in 33 states MJ is in the top three of revenue value for crops grown, #1 in California, yet legal sales for recreational use are illegal nationwide, so farmers and growers are not reporting these sales and paying taxes on them. This is a huge income stream and budget injection of cash we are missing and most desperately need for our nation. Especially since we are one trillion overdrawn each of the last 4 years, 14 trillion overdrawn in total. Wow. So, no more votes for you Mr or Mrs Congressman, not until you support the regulation, taxation and sale of MJ. They will listen, they want to stay in office and get their salaries, their cars, their perks, their power, their status, etc. Those that will not listen (an they have not over the years) must feel (take away their tax increases, their office, they will listen alright).

  21. Lived in Arkansas 50 years. No Republican voters are not monolithic on MJ, but Republican politicians are. Let’s wait till the new red legislature is in session here in Little Rock, then we can meet up and go ask them how monolithic the Republican establishment is on MJ. Until then we can ask Gary Johnson. All those things the Tea Party loved about him didn’t stop him from being erased from the Republican history books because of this one issue.

  22. I believe people were undecided in Arkansas since Issue 5 was only acknowledged by voters for 2 months before the vote.
    Even though the effort to get it on the ballot took more than a year, most were just too surprised by its appearance.
    Possibly with a few more months of discussion and debate it may have pasted.

  23. It is sad for someone like me that benefits from the use of medical marijuana wont be given the opportunity for relief. I am new to the Arkansas area and have suffered ever since.

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