Yesterday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined the Arkansas Association of the Chiefs of Police, the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the Arkansas Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates in a joint statement opposing marijuana Issues 6 and 7.

The statement cited the negative side-effects of marijuana legalization–something we have written about repeatedly–and called the proposals, “very thinly disguised attempts to legalize marijuana under the cloak of medicine.”

You can read the statement below.

Little Rock – The Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) along with the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association (APAA) and the FBI National Academy Associates-Arkansas Chapter (FBINAA), join with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in urging all Arkansans to vote against marijuana related Issues 6 & 7.  The AACP, APAA, and FBINAA all recently voted unanimously to OPPOSE the legalization of marijuana being proposed here in Issue 6 & 7.

It is often mentioned by proponents that law enforcement is simply against marijuana legalization because it will lead to a loss of revenue to their organizations.  The fact is, law enforcement and prosecutors actually oppose it, because they are often the first ones to see the negative side effects that marijuana legalization has on communities and youth.  Speaking with law enforcement officials and prosecutors in other legalized states has led us to the firm conclusion that it’s not in the best overall interests of the citizen’s we protect and serve due to the associated criminal activity, increases in fatality car crashes, and spikes in poison control calls and emergency room visits for children from edible products.

We believe the proposals here are nothing more than very thinly disguised attempts to legalize marijuana under the cloak of medicine.  We sympathize with those that have debilitating diseases, but we also want people to understand that no matter where they stand on this issue they may want to consider these proposals were written by the big marijuana industry for the marijuana industry.  The marijuana industry does not have our communities and youth’s best interests in mind and are only worried about making more money at the expense of our most vulnerable.

Neither Issue 6 or 7 truly allow jurisdictions to keep marijuana from flooding their communities.  One proposal requires that marijuana dispensaries be allowed to operate wherever a pharmacy is located, even next to an ice cream store where you take your family.  The other proposal allows jurisdictions to ban dispensaries, but then you have to allow home growing of it, potentially next door to your family and children.  Neither choice is a good one.

We ask that all Arkansans take a stand against the big marijuana industry and VOTE NO on Issues 6 and 7 and help us keep your family safe.