Asa warns against buying medical marijuana in Oklahoma | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 4, 2019

Asa warns against buying medical marijuana in Oklahoma

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 6:07 PM

click to enlarge YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: The governor isn't happy about messages encouraging suffering Arkansans to buy legal pain relief in Oklahoma.
  • YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: The governor isn't happy about messages encouraging suffering Arkansans to buy legal pain relief in Oklahoma.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a warning to Arkansans this evening that though they might soon be able to obtain legal medical marijuana in Oklahoma, it won't be legal to bring it to Arkansas or possess it here.

His statement would appear to suggest hat his Health Department didn't get the message in moving up access to Arkansas medical marijuana cards so they could be used for temporary licenses to obtain readily available medical marijuana in Oklahoma. He particularly isn't happy at newspaper comments by some encouraging people to do so, noting that it remains a federal crime to transport marijuana across the border.

His statement:

When I was administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, I never dreamed I would be governor with the responsibility of implementing the dispensing of medical marijuana. But the voters approved medical marijuana, and I am committed to make it work.

Voters in nine states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In Arkansas, however, the legal sale and use of marijuana is strictly limited to treatment of the 18 specific medical conditions.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has proceeded carefully as it has moved from voter approval to putting the system in place.

While some have complained that the process has taken too long, the commission took the time it needed to get this right; and also, a state judge stopped the implementation for a long period of time. Now the independent commission is back on track.

The commission’s first task was to select five companies to grow marijuana. Commissioners have granted those licenses and that process is complete.

Next week, the five commissioners will review an evaluation of the 200 applicants who are competing for one of the 32 dispensary licenses that the law allows.

The Arkansas Department of Health has certified nearly 7,000 patients who have at least one of the 18 medical conditions that qualify for treatment with medical marijuana.

The department anticipates that it will begin to issue the medical marijuana cards to certified patients in mid-February.

The first medical grade marijuana may be available in Arkansas by April.

Some misguided advocates of medical marijuana have suggested that patients who don’t want to wait for the marijuana to be available here could bypass Arkansas’s law and obtain it more quickly by traveling to Oklahoma.

A newspaper reported this week that Oklahoma officials will give temporary certificates to out-of-state patients who are certified to purchase medical marijuana in another state.

That opens the door for certified Arkansans to travel to Oklahoma to buy marijuana.

But I’d like to remind those who are considering that option that the purchase may be legal in Oklahoma, but the Arkansas amendment only permits the purchase of marijuana from a dispensary that is licensed in this state. If you buy marijuana in Oklahoma and bring it to Arkansas, you would be breaking not only state law, but federal law as well. Federal law prohibits the transportation of marijuana across the state line. Possession of marijuana remains a federal crime.

As the members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission complete this initial phase of implementing the law, I would like to thank them for the thought and care they brought to the task.

Their work means that Arkansas will do this in a way that is best for all Arkansans.
click to enlarge SHADES OF THE OLD DAYS: Will a run for Oklahoma for legal marijuana become as dangerous as a run for Coors?
  • SHADES OF THE OLD DAYS: Will a run for Oklahoma for legal marijuana become as dangerous as a run for Coors?

Will Asa order stepped-up border surveillance (as Arkansas law officers once did to stop the import of illegal Coors beer from Oklahoma)?

Does he really believe Arkansas government has been "transformed" into an efficient, people-first operation doing what's best for 7,000 Arkansans when it comes to marijuana?

Can there be any doubt Oklahoma got done in six months what it has taken Arkansas 26 months so far, with at least four to go by Asa's timetable? (And who knows what further glitches and government impediments await?)

Legalize marijuana. Yesterday.

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (27)

Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Today's the day for landlord-tenant bill UPDATE Another defeat

    Rep. Jimmy Gazaway (R-Paragould) says he will present his HB 1410 to provide protection to renters at a committee meeting after adjournment today. The bill will incorporate changes suggested by the Arkansas Realtors Assocviation, but that powerful lobby still won't support the bill. UPDATE: the bill fell one vote short.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • Headlines and the open line

    A busy legislature leads the day's video news roundup. Here's the open line.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • Senate committee approves tobacco tax bill with income tax cut

    The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee this morning endorsed Sen. Jim Hendren's SB 571 to provide an income tax cut for low-income people and make up the revenue loss with an increase in the tax on cigarettes and other smoking products.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017


Most Recent Comments


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