Medical marijuana grows as topic in Arkansas

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Whether it's cancer or lupus, one group thinks medical marijuana is what the doctor should order.

"I think Americans, Arkansans are starting to understand medical cannibas is real," said Ryan Denham, deputy director of Initiative 7. "It's safe, it's effective and there's no reason a doctor shouldn't be able to recommend it to a patient."

The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, or Issue 7, would allow for marijuana to be prescribed for 56 medical conditions.

It would also let some patients grow their own pot plants.

There's also issue 6, it's very similar but patients would not be able to grow their own marijuana.

They're two separate initiatives, so both could pass.

"It's a little unclear what would happen, usually the ones with the most votes would win, but ultimately, I don't think a situation like this has ever happened before, so it'd probably end up in court unfortunately," said Denham.

If passed, he says local sales tax from sales would benefit the local government and state proceeds would go back into the program, so taxpayers aren't affected.

"Americans should not have to choose between breaking the law and suffering," said Denham.

If Issue 6 passes, the future will remain in voters hands.

It prevents lawmakers from making medical marijuana illegal without voter permission.

Issue 7 keeps the power in lawmakers' hands.

Governor Asa Hutchinson hopes it never gets to that; he's against both plans.

"It's not a surprise he would come out against it, you know we're certainly disappointed, and it's our job to get the facts in there," said Denham.

Those behind Issue 7 met with allies in Memphis Thursday night at Jason's Deli to discuss the initiative.