Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Your tax dollars at work against medical marijuana

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 9:34 AM

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The fight continues  for Arkansas to join most of the rest of the United States in providing legal marijuana for medical use. Today, advocates lined up against the unending-power of the state.

On one side today, supporters of Issue 7, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, will hold a news conference in Fayetteville in support. 

Speakers will be two doctors and a cancer survivor. They'll talk about suffering patients who've been helped by marijuana, with fewer side effects than dangerously addicting opioids.

The speakers are Dr. Bill Piechal, who's been practicing chronic pain control in Fayetteville for 26 years; Dr. David Crittenden, a retired internist and former VA doctor, and Emily Williams, who used medical cannabis to treat severe nausea when she had chemotherapy for cancer.

On the other side, Gov. Asa Hutchinson continues to encourage a parade of press conferences at which public officials take time out from taxpayer-financed duties to stand up and again blow the Reefer Madness alarm, beginning with the utterly disingenuous pitch that marijuana should undergo FDA testing first. As long as marijuana remains a schedule 1 drug, this testing won't happen.

Taking time for more important duties today to sound the alarm at a Capitol news conference will be Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (at least this might keep her off cable TV appearances for Donald Trump for a while); Col. Bill Bryant, the governor's State Police director: Crime Lab Director Kermit Channell. and assorted chiefs of police. They will explain why we need to keep arresting people for possession and use of marijuana, particularly elderly sick people and children getting relief from seizure disorders thanks to cannabis oil. 

The state officials using state time to campaign against medical marijuana will oppose both Issue 6, a constitutional amendment, and Issue 7, an initiated act. The measures differ in offering profit and non-profit dispensation and a different list of medical questions for which doctors could prescribe marijuana. The initiated act also would allow some limited ability for users to grow their own.

Reminder: In addition to all who owe fealty to the governor, a major opponent of medical marijuana is the business establishment and their mouthpieces at chambers of commerce. These same groups are pushing Issue 3, which would unlock the treasury to send millions to private businesses and to pay the salaries of chamber of commerce people who are lobbying against relief for sick people. Don't like that idea? VOTE NO ON ISSUE 3, while VOTING YES ON ISSUES 6 and 7.

UPDATE: The State Police director is on his way to making a fool of himself. Coverage of the press conference says his great fear is "impaired driving" by people using medical marijuana. If the solution is to keep it illegal, then I presume he also is for reinstituting prohibition on the sale of alcoholic beverages. The toll from alcohol abuse beats anything marijuana has to offer. 

Same thing for the crime lab, raising an unsupported claim of a rise in marijuana testing. Making alcohol illegal would dramatically reduce blood screens, don't you think?

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