Thursday, November 5, 2015

On Thursday Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement regarding new polling on the issue of marijuana in Arkansas.

“Yesterday the University of Arkansas released statistics showing a majority of likely voters support letting a patient use marijuana if approved by their medical doctor. However, many people are incorrectly concluding this somehow shows Arkansans favor any of the marijuana proposals vying for a spot on the 2016 ballot,” Cox said.

“In 2012 only forty-three percent of Arkansans said they supported the ballot proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care. That’s because that ballot proposal did a lot more than simply let sick people use marijuana under their doctor’s supervision. It opened marijuana stores in Arkansas; it let people grow marijuana at home; it did not dispense marijuana through a pharmacy; and it stripped local communities of the ability to regulate marijuana.

“The 2016 proposal being offered by Arkansans for Compassionate Care is no different. It opens venues in Arkansas where marijuana will be sold. It lets patients who live more than twenty miles from one of these marijuana stores grow and use marijuana at home. Patients don’t have to have an official prescription from a doctor to use marijuana. The marijuana is not dispensed through a pharmacy. And cities and counties can’t regulate marijuana cultivation and use; at best, they can enact zoning regulations and limit the number of marijuana stores in the community.

“Sixty-eight percent of likely voters might approve simply letting a sick person use marijuana if their doctor agrees. However, far fewer Arkansans support letting people grow marijuana at home; opening marijuana stores in their communities; and stripping local governments of the ability to regulate marijuana cultivation, sale, and use in any meaningful sense.

“The most important poll taken on this issue occurred in 2012. Arkansans rejected marijuana at the ballot box then. This latest poll is so narrow that it fails to prove they would vote any differently today.”