Arkansas Lawmakers Consider Proposing Big Changes To Medical Marijuana Amendment

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) -- Arkansas lawmakers are proposing some big changes to the medical marijuana amendment that voters approved this past November.

Two bills are in the works that would not allow patients to smoke medical marijuana and a third bill would delay implementing Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Amendment until the federal government legalizes it.

David Couch, the sponsor for the medical marijuana amendment said a proposal to not allow smoking medical marijuana is insensitive because it's the only way some patients can use it.

Couch said the argument for banning smoking of medical marijuana was raised many times during the campaign in 2012 and 2016.

“It was rejected by the voters, you know by 54 percent of the people in the state of Arkansas approved this amendment. Fifty-five percent of the people in Senator Rapert's Senate district actually voted for this measure,” Couch said.

Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, said the amendment has put state lawmakers in a difficult position because they're being asked to set up a system that violates federal law.

He has asked the attorney general to weigh in on that.

“I believe until the federal government does it's job and actually changes the law on marijuana that we are in a situation where we cannot honestly move forward because it is an irreconcilable difference. There is disharmony between federal and state laws,” Rapert said.

Rapert said he hopes to hear from President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, once he's approved or from the Trump administration about whether it will lift the Obama ban on enforcement of the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Rapert said he plans on filing his bill this week. The Medical Marijuana Amendment allows changes to the law by a two-thirds vote.

1 Comment

  • Tom Anthony

    The people have spoken! Will big government overrule the vote of the people? Then, throw the tyrants out, because tyranny is what it is!
    In other states where it’s legal, the sky has not fallen. The federal regs are cockeyed (schedule 1 nonsense). If the feds had spent as much on advertising and movie-making to ban spinach, spinach would be painted as a scourge..
    People, take note of how your legislators vote. Put an end to big government tyranny. The power belongs to you, not to those who think they know better than you do.

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