DEA Chief Calls Medical Marijuana “A Joke”

This week DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg issued a statement to reporters concerning marijuana, saying,

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not. We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

Rosenberg noted certain substances in the marijuana plant might have possible medical use, but dismissed the idea that the marijuana plant itself can be smoked safely–a position we have supported at Family Council.

Rosenberg said, “But if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana — which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana — it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

Last month the DEA issued a report citing concerns over illicit drugs, writing, (more…)

Marijuana Polling Not Reflective of Opinions on Ballot Proposals

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.”


Arkansans Support Medical Marijuana Proposal? Not So Fast.

Yesterday the 2015 Arkansas Poll from the University of Arkansas was released. Many are seizing on some of the data contained in the poll, saying the poll shows Arkansans now support the legalization of so-called “medical” marijuana. But not so fast. Let’s take a look at what the poll actually says–and at the marijuana proposal vying for a spot on the ballot.

Pollsters surveyed 800 Arkansans by telephone. Among other things, they asked survey respondents, “Do you favor allowing patients to use marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their medical doctor?”

The poll question is very simple and narrowly-tailored. However, the “medical” marijuana proposals being offered in Arkansas are much broader. Here is what we mean:

In 2012 only 43% of survey respondents told the University of Arkansas they supported the “medical” marijuana proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care. Today, according to this poll, 68% of likely voters say a patient ought to be able to use marijuana if supported by their doctor.

The poll numbers are different because these are two completely different poll questions. The 2012 proposal did more than simply let people use marijuana; it established marijuana stores throughout Arkansas; it allowed patients and caregivers to grow marijuana at home; and it restricted the ability of local communities to regulate marijuana sales and use.

The 2016 proposal Arkansans for Compassionate Care is trying to place on the ballot contains the very same provisions. The new proposal: (more…)