Ads to be released against Medical Marijuana in Arkansas

Picture by Katherina Yancy, KATV

(KATV) Little Rock - On November 6, for the first time, Arkansas voters will be able to vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana. The Act is also known as Issue 5.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act has been certified for the November ballot by Secretary of State Mark Martin. If passed, Arkansas would be the 18th state to legalize the drug, and the first southern state.

Thursday, opponents with the Family Council Action Committee kicked of their campaign against the measure. They only have a few weeks to get their side out there. But Jerry Cox told Channel Seven that he honestly didn't think the measure would get this far and now they're playing catch up to make sure voters do not pass it.

In the 30-second ad, a woman says, "The grass growers and dope dealers will be in charge..."

To see the ad, click here.

Starting Monday, the TV ad will start playing, asking you not to vote to legalize medical marijuana. Cox says, "If this measure was just about sick people, I probably wouldn't be standing up here. But that is not what it's about. The way this measure is written, it really legalizes marijuana throughout the state of Arkansas."

If passed, a patient with a chronic illness, like cancer and glaucoma, would be eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation by an Arkansas doctor.

President of the Family Council, Jerry Cox says he wants to show Arkansans the dark sinister side of the issue. "The doctor's note is good for the rest of that person's life."

David Couch says that is not true. He explains, "A physician has to write a recommendation after consulting with the patient. Then after certifying the patient has one of these 15 conditions, the recommendation is taken to the Arkansas Department of Health. It [government-issued identification card] has to be renewed every year."

Couch is the attorney for Arkansans for Compassionate Care. He says the measure will be tightly regulated, it is for people who are sick and the TV ad is misleading. "You know, I think that is a scare tactic. I think the people of Arkansas will see right through that."

The TV ad continues, "Arkansas doesn't need a state filled with stoned out zombies..."

Cox concludes, "What you're going to do is infuse all this marijuana in our society and it is going to land in the hands of kids."

The Family Council Action Committee is also doing a web, social media and flyer campaign. The funding comes from donations.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care's campaign will be kicked off by Montel Williams October 18.