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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rise of the Phoenix: Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act defeated by Small Margin

Mark Daniels
Activist & Blogger
Global Political Awakening

As the Phoenix is reborn with healing tears, so shall the The Yes on 5 campaign for the Medical Marijuana Act of Arkansas (Ballot Issue 5) which was narrowly defeated on Election Day, November 6, 2012 (52%/48%).

Arkansans for Compassionate Care immediately reported to social media sites a declaration of sorts, vowing to increase Statewide efforts for education and outreach, beginning with the state legislature.
Melissa Fults, treasurer for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said her group will first pursue the issue through the state Legislature. If that fails, she said, it will again go through a petition campaign to get it on the ballot in two years.

"Needless to say, we're disappointed," Fults said by phone Wednesday morning. "But we were so close. We did more than anybody ever believed we'd do. And we'll start right back."

Fults said she believes the closeness of the race could spur legislators to take up the issue even though previous attempts haven't worked.  (Source)
"I predict it will pass overwhelmingly next time."—Arkansas Judge
A proposal to make AR the first southern state to legalize MMJ was rejected by 52% of voters. Chris Kell, the campaign strategist for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, tells The Fix that the narrow loss was due to the "onslaught of propaganda and misinformation that the opposition put out there"—specifically the Arkansas Family Council. "Their whole campaign claimed this was a back door to full legalization—but that's completely false." Despite the outcome, the fact that the issue made the ballot at all—and lost only narrowly—in the conservative state represents significant progress for the MMJ movement.  (Source)
Education for the 2014 cycle starts today, Folks. You're going to be talking to lots of folks in the next few weeks who are more aware about marijuana than ever before. 

Stay engaged! Help us build the group that will be invincible in 2014. (Source)

In an appeal to the Faith community, the Arkansans for Compassionate Care website explains:
And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” Zechariah 7:8-10
Medical Marijuana is about compassion, mercy and helping someone in need. These are values that a person of faith should support.  Medical marijuana is natural, safe, and effective medicine that has helped thousands of patients with their debilitating medical conditions. Religious leaders from many denominations have spoken out and supported medical marijuana.  Won’t you?

What Faith Groups support Medical Marijuana?

The Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative states, “Licensed medical doctors should not be punished for recommending the use of medical marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient’s physician has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.”
This initiative is a nationwide effort to bring together people of faith to promote drug policy reform. Supporters include:
  • United Methodist Church
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • United Methodist Board of Church and Society
  • Episcopal Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • United Church of Christ
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention

Positions of Religious Groups that Support Medical Marijuana

Several major denominations and other religious groups have official positions supporting medical marijuana. We’ve listed some of these official positions below.

United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church adopted the following position at their General Conference in 2004 by a vote of 877-19:
“Some countries permit the use of marijuana in medicines. Recently, some states in the United States have passed legislation permitting the medical use of marijuana. The medical use of any drug should not be seen as encouraging recreational use of the drug. We urge all persons to abstain from all use of marijuana, unless it has been legally prescribed in a form appropriate for treating a particular medical condition.”
Subsequently, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society signed on to the following statement: “Licensed medical doctors should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient’s physician has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.”

Presbyterian Church (USA)

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Please visit The Phoenix Tears Foundation and Arkansans for Compassionate Care for more information about the healing benefits of Marijuana and Hemp Oil.

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Related Articles:

Three Michigan Cities Quietly Decriminalize Marijuana Too

Washington Legalizes Marijuana By Wide Margin

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