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Push Continues on Medical Marijuana Initiative for Arkansas

Arkansans for Compassionate Care is busy gathering signatures to get a measure on the ballot.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - While Colorado kicked off 2014 with its new recreational marijuana law, activists in Arkansas continue to push for legalizing marijuana strictly for medical purposes.

"The only thing I hope can come from that (Colorado) is hopeully people will continue to research marijuana in general and how it can be used medicinally. As far as that goes, it's two completely different situations. We are strictly for medical," said Emma Yingling with Arkansans for Compassionate Care. 

Yingling said what's happening in Colorado is not what the group is trying to do here. 

"I'm interested in patients safe access to a medicine that will save their life," she said. 

In 2012, Arkansans for Compassionate Care did have a spot on the November ballot. The measure failed by a few percentage points. So, the group is trying again under a new name - The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. 

"We have until July to collect the 62,507 signatures to be on the ballot. Once that happens, we will use the next couple of months to educate the population and really try to get out the vote," said Yingling. 

Yingling says a vote for medical cannibas could give hope to those in pain.

"I've researched it. I know marijuanna can save lives," she says.

There is a second ballot initiative dealing with medical marijuana in Arkansas. It's called the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act. Critics of medical marajuana say it could have a high potential for abuse and cite studies showing its harmful effects on the brain.

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