On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Arkansans for Compassionate Care submitted petition signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State requesting a measure legalizing “medical” marijuana be certified for the November 2016 ballot.
Buddy Fisher, ARPN’s recently elected President, believes that Arkansas Pastors need to be aware of the following:
1. This measure lets most marijuana users grow marijuana at home without sufficient oversight.
2. Marijuana is not classified as medicine.
• It isn’t overseen by pharmacists or the federal Food and Drug Administration.
• Studies increasingly find a connection between marijuana use and cognitive
problems and reductions in IQ.
• Many researchers link marijuana to schizophrenia later in life.
3. Jerry Cox, founder and president of Family Council, indicates that the proposal
has many of the same flaws as a similar ballot measure proposed in 2012. He
indicates . . .
• This measure makes it easier for just about anyone to use marijuana because it
lists more qualifying conditions than the 2012 proposal.
It still lets marijuana users grow marijuana at home.
• Marijuana won’t be prescribed by a doctor through a pharmacy.
• The proposal forces the State of Arkansas to come up with tax dollars to
establish a marijuana program at the Arkansas Department of Health.
• Governor Mike Beebe’s administration determined in 2012 that it was going to
cost Arkansas taxpayers severely.
• This new proposal does not fix that problem.
• Arkansas taxpayers are going to be stuck footing the bill to support someone
else’s marijuana habit.
4. Cox further indicated . . .
• The proposal fails to help children with seizures, yet the people backing this
measure and similar proposals keep talking about marijuana extracts and oils
that can help children with seizures — if that’s true, then why is this
measure written so broadly?
• The wording of this proposal doesn’t focus on children or on oils or extracts;
it’s about otherwise-healthy adults buying, growing, and smoking marijuana.
• The number-one reason children in Arkansas are in foster care is drug abuse by
• In states that have legalized marijuana, we have seen stories of children
rushed to the emergency room after accidentally overdosing on cookies or
candies laced with marijuana.
• This proposal isn’t going to help children; it’s going to put children at risk.
5. Cox indicates that the proposal is about complete legalization of marijuana.
• Two of the nation’s top supporters of marijuana legalization are backing this
• If this proposal isn’t about full legalization of marijuana, then why else
would they support it?
6. Cox indicates that the measure does not properly regulate marijuana use.
• If marijuana is medicine, then it should be regulated like medicine, and this proposal does not do that.
7. If marijuana is no different from alcohol, then it should be regulated like alcohol.
• This proposal doesn’t do that.
• This measure will make it easier for people to grow and smoke marijuana.
The Arkansas Pastors Network is a State Chapter of the American Pastors Network.