Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Religious right group targets medical marijuana

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 2:23 PM

The right-wing so-called religious group, the Family Council, has more aims in the legislative session than limiting women's medical autonomy, as mentioned yesterday. It's also going to do all it can to defy the will of voters and limit availability of medical marijuana.

Its aims on marijuana at the moment:

* Reducing the number of medical conditions in Issue 6 to make it harder to smoke marijuana recreationally.

* Protecting children from marijuana candy, desserts, soft drinks, and other enticing items.

* Prohibiting drugged driving.

* Banning marijuana advertisements.

* Regulating marijuana stores.

* Helping cities and counties pass legislation to ban marijuana stores and farms.

* Limiting the number of marijuana farms and marijuana stores in Arkansas.

As with abortion, some of these ideas are aimed at perils that don't exist (marijuana sweets) or are already regulated (drugged driving).

I'm confident that, whatever else happens, the Family Council couldn't pass a sale limitation in Pulaski County. Though it would be a terrible disservice to sick people, an effort to enact local bans around the state would at least return to Little Rock some of the traffic fleeing to suburbs. Some of those people might find a compassionate city is a bit more attractive place than they thought.

Good news: Some serious Republicans are hard at work hoping to capture a share of the medical marijuana market, whether as providers, lobbyists or other ancillary players. That bipartisan flavor should present an obstacle to Family Council steamrolling all of these ideas through the legislature.

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