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Medical marijuana effort fails to raise signatures

An initiated act to raise the state’s minimum wage and a proposed constitutional amendment to allow liquor sales in all 75 counties in Arkansas both submitted more than the minimum number needed to be considered for the November ballot.

Supporters for a proposal to allow for medical marijuana said they fell short of signatures to qualify.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which qualified a medical marijuana proposal that fell short in 2012, only collected about 52,000 signatures well short of the 62,507 needed to be reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office.

But Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office will review the two other proposals.

Let Arkansas Decide turned in just under 85,000 signatures Monday. The measure would legalize alcohol sales statewide. Currently, 38 of the state’s 75 counties are “wet,” while 37 are “dry.”

Supporters need to keep at least 78,133 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot. Give Arkansans a Raise Now, the group pushing for passage of a hike in the state minimum wage, turned in more than 77,000 signatures. It needed to muster 62,507 signatures to qualify for the general election ballot.

The initiated act would raise the Arkansas minimum wage from $6.25 per hour to $8.50 incrementally over the next three years if it is approved.

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After an initial review by the Secretary of State’s office, Let Arkansas Decide and Give Arkansans a Raise Now could both be allowed to collect additional signatures as part of a cure period during the next 30 days.

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