Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Farming medical marijuana
With the recent passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment to our state's constitution, I wanted to share my perspective as a small organic farmer at North Pulaski Farms and the former CIO of World Wide Travel Service. When I started my organic farm in late 2008, all my friends asked me, "What are ya gonna be growing out there, Carney?" insinuating that I would be growing an illegal substance. My reply was always, "Nothing that would risk losing my farm and landing me in prison." For the last eight years my focus has been growing certified organic fruits and vegetables and building my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmshare. The last few weeks I have pondered whether to seek one of the cultivation licenses that will be issued per the AMMA. Now my friends are saying "Don't you know the fix is already in?" "Some politician's farmer cousin is already gonna get one." To this my reply is, "How can that be when they have not even formed the commission to create the rules yet?" Not having an understanding about the relationships that may or may not be in our state government and hoping my friends are just as clueless as they were when I started farming, I want to offer some ideas for the soon-to-be-created Medicinal Marijuana Commission.
First, I think existing Arkansas farmers should get the cultivation licenses. Everybody talks about getting warehouse space and becoming millionaires growing this medicine. We realize there will be significant security and record-keeping requirements. The farmers who understand this already have the infrastructure, have committed their lives to feeding our state and have a working knowledge of horticulture should be considered over others. Secondly, how this is made should be a factor. You can't just wash off any residue that may have been used to grow and produce this medicine. Patients should not have to worry about what toxic chemicals may be in it. Third, we have a chance to finally negotiate our drug costs. If they use a competitive bid process to award the licenses, patients will not have to pay as much. We all have seen the videos of the small child whose seizures have been virtually eliminated by using this medicine. That family should not have to go broke to provide it. Lastly, I know our state has always been one to readily adopt "sin" taxes. I don't believe God created this plant for man to use as a sin; he created it to be used as a medicine.
Once upon a time
Putin and Trump will negotiate peace. Putin begins by asking for Melania — or he will blow up Trump Tower. El Donald will agree, but instead sends his ex-wife Marla Maples naked — but wrapped in a 22-carat gold sheet woven directly into Merino wool fabric backed with a silk jacquard added to 1,000 thread-count Egyptian cotton. Marla will roll out into the splits and dance sexy for Putin. This will keep the peace for a while, but eventually Putin will want something more. The Don will send his lovely, innocent, youngest daughter, Tiffany, allegedly merely to visit her mother. But he tells Putin if he wants to keep the peace, he must marry her ASAP in a HUGE official ceremony and also keep her mother (in Siberia will be OK; she likes to ski). So does Ivana, by the way. Putin and Trump will be happy as kings.
Then, El Donald suddenly passes on — in the middle of the night, in the middle of a peaceful Tweet. After a brief period of national mourning that morning, in the afternoon FLOTUS will be crowned Queen of America, democracy having recently become passé when the Constitution was legislated and adjudicated away. Beautiful Queen Melania will immediately send all his kids to Trump Tower and close them in securely. They can't get out but they can order out. Baron will become Prince and his cousins will come to live with them to teach him Chinese and Russian. Putin divorces Tiffany on the grounds that in her sleep she calls him "Daddy." He gives her a long baby seal fur coat and sends her to Siberia to join her mother and Ivana. As a wedding gift, Czar Putin annexes Slovenia for Czarina Melania, who reveals that for such a long, lonely time she has longed for a stronger, shorter man with very little hair and that time goes by so slowly and time can do so much. Their opposing nations now peacefully joined the good old-fashioned way, everyone in the world lives happily ever after.
The upside of Trump
If Superman went around roughing up junior high students for overdue library books, he never would have made the comic pages. Is the failure to return a library book on time a wrong? Certainly it is. But, to be a superhero one needs supervillains, and absent-minded teenagers just don't measure up to supervillain status. As much as he despised Lex Luthor, the man of steel needed him.
We baby boomers were blessed with some great adversaries. Lyndon Johnson and his interminable, indefensible war; Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon; and Spiro "No Lo Contendo" Agnew were all there to inspire us. The millennials are an even bigger lot than we boomers were. Trump might just be the man they need to motivate them.
This will be especially true if The Donald turns the likes of Tom Cotton loose. Cotton is likely to start more wars than he has army for and end up bringing back the draft just to keep a fresh supply of IED fodder on hand. When their ranks begin to thin, the millennials will take to the streets just like the boomers did. Trump can look to Johnson, Agnew and Nixon to see how well things worked out for them.
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