The following press release is from Family Council Action Committee.

On Monday, 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.

Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “Arkansans need to know the truth about marijuana. This measure lets most marijuana users grow marijuana at home without sufficient oversight. 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 even link marijuana with schizophrenia later in life.”

Cox said the proposal has many of the same flaws as a similar ballot measure proposed in 2012. “This new proposal isn’t any better than the proposal from 2012. Arguably, 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 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.”

Cox said the proposal fails to help children with seizures. “People backing this measure and similar proposals keep talking about marijuana extracts and oils 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 their parents. 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.”

Cox said the proposal is about complete legalization of marijuana. “Two of the nation’s top supporters of marijuana legalization are backing this measure. If this proposal isn’t about full legalization of marijuana, then why else would they support it?”

Cox said the measure does not properly regulate marijuana use. “If marijuana is medicine, then it should be regulated like medicine. This proposal does not do that. If marijuana is no different from alcohol, then it should be regulated like alcohol. This proposal doesn’t do that, either. All this measure does is make it easier for people to grow and smoke marijuana.”

Family Council Action Committee is a conservative 501(c)(4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.