Monday, September 12, 2016

Governor opposes medical marijuana

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 10:46 AM

click to enlarge asa.jpg

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
reiterated his opposition to proposed medical marijuana initiatives at a news conference today flanked by doctors.

He said the measures wouldn't lead to good medical practice. He repeats the availability of Marinol, a prescription that drug that contains a synthetic form of the active ingredient in marijuana. Proponents of medical marijuana say it's inferior. Many experts agree.

Hutchinson echoes his Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe in urging FDA study, not doing science at the ballot box.

Bledsoe equated "Big Tobacco" with "Big Marijuana." Indeed, legal marijuana will produce profits for someone. Marijuana is not medicine, he said. It has some components that have shown promise, but he said they should be isolated, purified and studied for approval by the FDA.

I remain where I wrote I was last week: In support of legal marijuana, for medicine or otherwise. It's less dangerous than alcohol and the supporters of its efficacy for pain relief or appetite stimulation — real people who've had real relief with its use — are legion.

Bledsoe said it would be a violation of the Hippocratic oath to endorse the measures. Here's some polling that shows 76 percent of physicians endorse legal medical marijuana, particularly oncologists and hematologists according to other polling.

UAMS, desperately in need of state money, provided some of its officials on state time to campaign against the medical marijuana measures.

"This is not good medicine," said the governor. He promised some other talking points in days ahead. It became clear they'll beat up on poor people, by noting that one measure proposes using a tax on sales to provide marijuana to low-income people. Sure. If poor cancer patients need pain relief, they can get an effen job. Seconds later, Hutchinson said Arkansas was a "compassionate" state. 

These organizations were represented as being against medical marijuana: Arkansas Medical Society; Arkansas Hospital Association; Family Physician Association; Pharmacy Association; UAMS; Arkansas Children’s Hospital; Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI); Arkansas Department of Health (ADH); and Arkansas Heart Hospital.

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