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      Citing compassion, backers want medical marijuana

      By CHUCK BARTELSAssociated Press

      LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas voters have a choice whether to make it legal for people to use marijuana medicinally.

      Issue 5 on the Nov. 6 ballot would let doctors give patients permission to purchase medical marijuana. If a person lives more than five miles from a dispensary, it would be legal under state law for them to grow their own.

      The drug would remain illegal under federal law.

      Backers say marijuana is sometimes the only drug that can relieve the suffering brought on by chemotherapy and other medical conditions.

      Opponents argue that the measure is a back-door approach toward full legalization and that medical marijuana is bound to fall into the hands of unauthorized users.

      Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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