WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - For the first time in Arkansas history medical marijuana is getting put to a vote.
"Are you serious?" asked Ronnie Brewer of West Memphis.
Arkansas resident William Flowers said, "I think it's a load of crap."
The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care has been working for more than a year and a half to get a petition with enough signatures to qualify for a vote. The deadline for 60,000 signatures is Friday, July 6. So confident in their 68,000 signatures, they turned in their petition in Thursday afternoon.
"It was a milestone, we've worked very hard on this campaign," said the campaign's director, Ryan Denham.
The Secretary of State's office is validating the signatures now. If they're short, the group will have a 30-day extension to get the rest of the signatures needed.
Denham told abc24.com, "We're even more confident this will pass if we can get voters a chance to vote on this in November."
He said if the issue passes, use will be highly regulated.
"We're talking about conditions like MS, cancer, aids, epilepsy, hep c, serious and debilitating conditions," said Denham, "where their doctor believes medical marijuana is the best treatment option for them."
He says the state needs a change.
"Patients in Arkansas are left with 2 horrible choices. They can follow their doctor's orders and break the law, obtain medical marijuana on the black market, risk arrest prosecution, or they can continue to suffer. We offer the third choice; allow patients to obtain medical marijuana in a highly regulated environment."