Tom Cotton talks Russia, North Korea, opioids, and medical marijuana | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tom Cotton talks Russia, North Korea, opioids, and medical marijuana

Posted By on Sun, Apr 8, 2018 at 12:38 PM


Sen. Tom Cotton did his semi-regular pow-wow with Roby Brock on Talk Business and Politics this morning. Not much meat to chew on, to be honest. Cotton talked foreign policy, gesturing vaguely toward a faith that Donald Trump's diplomacy could improve simmering tensions with Russia and North Korea.

Chillingly, Cotton predicted that the single-minded warmonger John Bolton, Trump's new appointee as national security advisor, "understands how to make the levers of power in Washington move" and "knows how to make things happen."

Cotton also talked about the opioid crisis and his push to increase mandatory minimums for distributing fentanyl (though not in his bill, Cotton has also advocated for the death penalty for fentanyl dealers). There is no evidence that mandatory minimum sentences are actually effective at combatting a drug addiction crisis, but mass incarceration is itself an irresistible high for demagogues.

Brock asked Cotton about medical marijuana, which recent studies have shown could actually be an effective tool to stem the opioid crisis because of its potential as a pain reliever.

Cotton took the federalism tack, saying that states were experimenting with options about how to regulate marijuana. "I respect the decision that the voters of Arkansas have made," he said. "It's not my responsibility to implement that at the state level." 

"I don't think we should, in Congress, change the laws [to] decriminalize or even legalize marijuana," Cotton said.

He noted that "Arkansans have only been willing to take the first step" — medical marijuana as opposed to full legalization. Which is true, of of course, so far. Though I wonder what would happen if a broader legalization hits the ballot a few cycles from now.

Asked specifically whether Congress should act on the medical marijuana front in order to give clarity to states like Arkansas, Cotton demurred:

The attorney general has announced that each individual u.s. attorney will have the discretion to apply the federal laws in their state based on their state laws. So I don't anticipate the Department of Justice will take steps to interfere with states like Arkansas that have taken the somewhat modest, restrained step of adopting a medical marijuana program that is going to be very tightly regulated.

Now for those states that legalized and commercialized marijuana, I can't speak to what will happen in those states. I think that would be an unwise step to take for Arkansas kids, families, and communities.



Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Greenbrier's paddling of student protester goes worldwide

    The paddling of Greenbrier High School students who joined in te national school walkout Wednesday has produced headlines worldwide.
    • Mar 17, 2018
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation