Based on a recent report published by the Associated Press Arkansas could be the first Southern state to ease medical marijuana restrictions. The state will organize a referendum this fall to ask voters whether pot should be accepted for medical uses or not.
The Southern states have long opposed the legalization of marijuana even for medical purposes as opposed to the states on the East and the West Coasts who adopted more permissive laws. Arkansas, however, thinks it is time to reconsider their position in relation to pot, so the state is willing to give voters the opportunity to express their wish. Thus, a referendum will be organized this fall asking residents in Arkansas whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes or not.
Pot continues to be a taboo for state’s officials and law enforcement agencies, but supporters are doing their best to gain visibility. According to them, it is important for people to see that Arkansas and other states in the South are preoccupied with the legalization of marijuana and not just the Western or the Eastern ones. Jill Harris, managing director of Drug Policy Action told the press that people in the South were never too preoccupied about this subject; therefore, the mere organization of the referendum is a great achievement for them.
The marijuana reformation has been one of the hottest issues in many American states. Colorado, Oregon and Washington are even considering the legalization of marijuana for all purposes through laws that could be accepted by the end of the year. Voters residing in Massachusetts are expected to express their opinion upon the matter this fall, whereas North Dakota could add another measure to its ballot.
There have been similar actions made in Arkansas in order to legalize marijuana for medical uses, but they have all failed. The current campaign was planned by Arkansas for Compassionate Care which managed to draw the politics’ attention through the funds they have raised. Bill Clinton’s name is, in fact related to marijuana consumption. The Arkansas-native President was ridiculed in 1992 for declaring during his campaign that he had consumed marijuana in college, but never inhaled it.