After earlier surviving a court challenge filed by some of the largest lobbying organizations in the state, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act was disqualified Thursday by the state Supreme Court in a ruling on a lawsuit supported by the backer of a competing ballot measure.
The high court issued its opinion invalidating some of the signatures gathered in support of Issue 7, and that left it with too few. The ruling came down on the fourth day of early voting in Arkansas for the Nov. 8 general election.
Supporters and some opponents of the two competing ballot measures to allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes lamented the timing of the court's decision. More than 144,000 people had already voted by Wednesday evening -- more than 8 percent of registered voters. About 21,000 more people voted Thursday.
Votes for and against the initiated act won't count, and voters who have already cast ballots won't get a redo.
"For every signature, there are stories," said Aubrey Buchanan, who held an Issue 7 sign outside the Pulaski County Election Commission on Thursday morning. "This is life. People are dying, and they're sick and they're hurt. Can't we have a choice?"
She said she did not support Issue 6 -- the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.