The 2016 election in the United States is going to be like no other, with a total of seven states including medical marijuana on ballots for the November 6 federal election. While each state has different reasoning and regulations for medical marijuana, the fact remains that should these laws be passed, they will help thousands of patients within those states.
Arkansas voters could have two medical marijuana initiatives to vote on this November. The first is the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, which would allow for just one “cannabis care center” per 20 pharmacies that sponsor the Compassionate Care Act at 38 dispensaries. This program would be funded completely by taxes on medical marijuana, and would give the Arkansas Department of Health complete regulation over this particular program. Patients would be required to provide a written recommendation from a doctor, along with a license from the Department of Health before they can purchase from one of the cannabis care centers. Anyone that lives more than 20 miles from one of these centers would be able to apply for a “hardship cultivation” certificate, allowing them to grow up to ten plants of their own.
Another measure that could appear on the Arkansas ballot this November is the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, which would allow for up to eight grow facilities and up to 40 for-profit dispensaries across the state. The Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana group has been given until August 29, 2016 by the Arkansas Secretary of State to collect the required number of signatures.
Amendment 2 will be on the Florida ballot in November, which would give the state’s Department of Health total regulation over dispensaries, including registering those that are approved. Patients with medical conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana would need to obtain approval from a licensed Florida doctor, and minors would need to get parental consent. In order for the law to pass, at least 60 per cent of voters need to vote in favor of the amendment. If approved, it will help patients suffering from PTSD, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, MS, and HIV/AIDS.
On August 31, 2016, a law will go into effect that will limit medical marijuana providers to just three patients. Initiative I-182 will appear on November’s ballot that will eliminate this limitation as well as other requirements including unannounced inspections and required physician reviews. The medical qualifications that would be included under this proposal are chronic pain and PTSD.
The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act is set to be on November’s ballot and this proposal would allow patients to carry up to three ounces of medical marijuana for conditions such as AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Patients who live 40 miles or more away from dispensaries would also be allowed to grow up to eight plants of their own.
New Approach Missouri is the group that’s advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state. Unlike other states, there are no qualifying conditions but rather, doctors would be permitted to make decisions on medical marijuana on a per-patient basis.
Montana is looking to make history in November 2016, but not the kind that will help patients. On Montana’s ballot, I-176 will appear which would strip the states of its current medical marijuana legalization laws. Such a move has never been made by any state.
Oklahomans for Health is the organization that has fought hard to collect the required signatures to put State Question 788 on the November ballot. This proposal would allow the use, sale, and growing of medical marijuana with no medical qualifications but rather, require the approval of a state-certified physician for patients that wish to apply for a license.