Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.
This week Gov. Asa Hutchinson held a bill-signing ceremony for two bills that restrict marijuana edibles and marijuana advertising.
S.B. 440 by Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers) and Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs) prohibits marijuana stores from selling marijuana-infused candy and other foods that are likely to appeal to children.
We have read time and again about children hospitalized after eating gummies, cookies, or other foods laced with so-called “medical” marijuana. S.B. 440 helps protect Arkansas’ children from this dangerous drug.
S.B. 441 by Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers) and Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs) restricts medical marijuana advertisements in much the same way as tobacco advertisements. Marijuana ads cannot target children. They cannot be placed near schools or daycares. And they have to include disclaimers about the dangers of marijuana.
This bill will help tighten Arkansas’ restrictions on “medical” marijuana.
Family Council was pleased to support both of these bills during the legislative session, and we enjoyed attending the bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Hutchinson, Sen. Bledsoe, and Rep. Lundstrum this week.
Marijuana stores are now open for business in Arkansas. Watch this video to learn more.
Twenty-nine years ago the Committee for Reproductive Choices launched a petition drive to place a pro-abortion amendment on the ballot in Arkansas.
The amendment would have made abortion a constitutional right and, in the words of one attorney, “straight-jacket” Arkansas into the most extreme abortion policy in the nation, at the time.
The amendment’s supporters included the ACLU and Advocates for Reproductive Information and Support (ARIS).
The pro-abortion amendment’s text read,
AN AMENDMENT PREVENTING STATE INTERVENTION IN REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES
Section 1. The State shall not intervene in any woman’s personal reproductive decisions, including but not limited to, the right to choose to become pregnant, to carry a pregnancy to term and to bear a child or to prevent pregnancy or to terminate her pregnancy through abortion by a licensed medical doctor through the twentyfourth (24th) week of pregnancy. The state shall not intervene in a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy to protect her life or health.
Section 2. Nothing in this provision shall restrict a person’s religious freedom.
The amendment effectively would have written the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton abortion decisions into the Arkansas Constitution.
In Roe the court ruled states had little power to restrict abortion during the first and second trimesters.
In Doe the court ruled states could not prohibit abortions deemed necessary to save the life or protect the health of the mother.
Both of these rulings were changed in 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that dismantled Roe‘s trimester framework and ruled states could regulate abortion as a medical procedure.
Thankfully, this pro-abortion amendment from 1990 never took root in Arkansas.
However, it serves as a reminder of how far Arkansas has come in the fight to protect unborn children.