NORML Member Tries To Kick Medical Marijuana Off Arkansas Ballot

Article by Tom Angell,


Why would a member of NORML’s National Legal Committee file a lawsuit seeking to get a medical marijuana measure kicked off of Arkansas’s November ballot?

Thats’s the question many cannabis policy observers are asking after Kara Benca, a lifetime member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’s attorneys panel, sued on Friday to invalidate signatures for the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (AMCA).

The measure is one of two separate medical cannabis initiatives that have qualified for the November ballot. It, unlike the competing Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA), would allow certified patients to grow medical cannabis at home. It also allows for a broader list of medical conditions that qualify patients for legal access to marijuana.

David Couch, the Little Rock attorney behind the more restrictive AMMA, admitted to that he “provided information” to support Benca’s suit, but didn’t respond directly to questions about whether he merely complied with requests for help or was involved in initiating the case from the beginning.

“We are a small town,” he said. “I’ve worked with them and know them. I don’t think anyone contacted anyone.”

Paul Armentano, deputy director for NORML, said his organization has not “picked a side among these dueling initiatives.”

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