Group trying to get medical marijuana on AR ballot - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Group trying to get medical marijuana on AR ballot

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Kathy Michaud supports an effort to legalize marijuana for medical use. Kathy Michaud supports an effort to legalize marijuana for medical use.
Arkansans for Compassionate Care collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. Arkansans for Compassionate Care collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.
Arkansas will become the first southern state to consider legalizing medical marijuana, if the proposal clears. Arkansas will become the first southern state to consider legalizing medical marijuana, if the proposal clears.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Arkansas could become the first southern state to consider legalizing medical marijuana if a proposal can clear a legal hurdle.

The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

Kathy Michaud supports an effort to legalize marijuana for medical use because she's seen its benefits firsthand.

"It helped me live," said Michaud. "The marijuana is the only thing I could get to help me eat," she added.

Michaud was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, 25 years ago.  She has gone through three serious rounds of treatment to battle the disease. 

She and her husband, Laughingbear, admit to buying marijuana off the streets to help her symptoms subside.

"If I had to go through it again, I would do it. I would buy marijuana off the street until it's legal and keep my wife alive," said Laughingbear.  "I love her that much," he added.

The Michaud's have actively volunteered with the ACC.  The group surpassed the number of signatures needed to put the medical marijuana issue on the ballot but has hit a snag.

"The Family Council and a coalition of conservative groups are challenging the ballot title with the Arkansas Supreme Court" said Chris Kell with the ACC.

The conservative coalition has asked the court to remove the proposal from the ballot or order election officials not to count any votes for it.

"The Supreme Court did decline the Family Council's request for oral argument and should be noted also they declined our request for a reply and brief," added Kell.

Kell hopes the court's decision comes down soon so that volunteers like the Michaud's can keep on campaigning.

"My main goal is to make sure this gets on the ballot. There are thousands of people across this nation suffering daily," Laughingbear stated.

Supporters should not expect the state drug director to campaign with them.  Fran Flener says she cannot endorse this proposal, as she fears that aspects of the law will lead to drug abuse.

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