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Arkansas: Poll Shows Medical Marijuana Not Looking Good

Pollsters say there is no confusion about competing proposals, just a lack of interest in the cause.

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Legalizing medical marijuana this year in Arkansas could be a tough sell.

A recent poll suggests that voters in the "Land of Opportunity" are not too enthusiastic about the prospect of legalizing a medical marijuana program. In fact, the two sides are almost equally divided when it comes to whether they will or will not support a ballot measure in the upcoming election aimed at legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Survey, which was conducted earlier last week, finds Arkansas voters are not even sure whether medical marijuana is something they care to see happen. But if they do decide to vote in favor of a proposal to bring legal weed to the state, most of them (49 percent) intend to side with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment – a proposal brought to the table by Little Rock attorney David Couch.

The second initiative -- the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act -- isn’t nearly as popular. The polls suggests that 53 percent of the voters plan to oppose the measure, while only 36 percent say they will give it their full support.

Pollsters said the latest results show that Arkansans are not at all confused about the two competing medical marijuana ballot measures.

“Arkansas voters do appear to distinguish between the two medical marijuana proposals, according to our survey,” said TB&P’s Roby Brock. “With legal challenges remaining, high-profile opposition, and the possibility of national groups spending money in support of the issue, these proposals may be the most contested on the November ballot.”

But with the close split over the legalization of medical marijuana, there is a distinct possibility that the entire movement could be blown out of the water once again this year. In 2012, a similar proposal was rejected by a close 51 percent to 49 percent margin.