Sunday, September 4, 2016

Medical marijuana: a partisan divide over a simple choice

Posted By on Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 8:16 AM

click to enlarge unknown.jpeg
John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau highlights the emerging difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party on marijuana.

The Democratic Party supports a "responsible medical marijuana program" (while not specifically endorsing either of two measures currently headed to the ballot). The Republican Party opposes "decriminalization of dangerous drugs, including marijuana." Gov. Asa Hutchinson has explicitly opposed the two ballot measures.

Democratic Senate candidate Conner Eldridge, a former federal prosecutor, takes the Democratic Party platform view. Incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman wraps himself in the arms of the Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in opposing any easing of restrictions on marijuana.

(If a better measure of how to vote exists than the positions of those self-interested lobbies, I can't imagine it. I'm betting they're muscling against marijuana to win religion lobby support for their corporate welfare amendment that restores the flow of tax dollars to fat-cat lobbyists who work against things like easing the pain of desperately sick people with marijuana or providing help for injured workers or protection for tortured animals.)

Thousands of words will be written about the fine points of the regulatory structure provided in the competing medical marijuana measures.

I prefer to view the two ballot initiatives in the light by which some of the staunchest opponents place them — as beginning steps toward legalization. I just don't happen to believe that's a bad thing.

If beer, wine and spirits may be legally sold and consumed, so it should be with marijuana, a safer substance less prone to abuse and demonstrably beneficial to people with great medical needs.

I'd prefer simple decriminalization, but I'll take either option currently on offer.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation