The remaining marijuana issue on the November 8 ballot “is extremely dangerous because it’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Kevin Russell said in a prepared statement that Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana distributed at the news conference it sponsored at the capitol on Friday to voice its opposition to Issue 6.
Mr. Russell was speaking on behalf of the Coalition for Safe Arkansas Communities.
AALM identified 30 organizations and 89 public officials who oppose marijuana proposals Issues 6 and 7, but only a handful actually attended the event. The state Supreme Court ruled that Issue 7, which also would have legalized marijuana, did not meet the requirements to be on the ballot.
Those present at the conference were the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, Arkansas Association of the Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Committee for Ethics Policy, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Medical Society, Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Arkansas Realtors Association, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Family Council Action Committee, and Human Resource Management Association of Arkansas.
Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe led the conference:
Statements issued by opposition groups and individuals:
“The State Chamber is opposed to Issue 6 because it is promoting marijuana as medicine, which it is not. Further, using a vote of the people to make marijuana medicine is not the correct process. Issue 6’s antidiscrimination clauses will put employers in an unclear environment that will most certainly result in lawsuits, while reducing the safety and productivity of the workplace and available workforce.” – Randy Zook, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce CEO and President
“The Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA) opposes ballot Issue 6 on marijuana, and has joined the coalition Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana. This ballot initiative is disguised as ‘medical marijuana,’ but ultimately allows the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. As an association of medical providers and employers, we oppose Issue 6.” – Bo Ryall, President and CEO of the Arkansas Hospital Association
“These so-called ‘medical marijuana’ ballot measures are nothing more than recreational marijuana masquerading as medicine. Anyone with pain or nausea can qualify to smoke marijuana without a prescription. Drug addiction will plague our children and grandchildren if so-called ‘medical marijuana’ becomes legal.” – Jerry Cox, Family Council Action Committee President
“Marijuana Issue 6 is extremely dangerous because it’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is a constitutional amendment that will be nearly impossible to change or place safeguards on to help protect our communities and children. It is financed by big industry backers looking to profit off of our most vulnerable, and it is overseen by the Alcohol Beverage Control board, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything remotely medical.” – Kevin Russell, Coalition for Safe Arkansas Communities
“Smoked and ingested marijuana is not legitimate medicine. If there are some valid medical applications for components of marijuana, then medical science needs to do the requisite research, extract those components, and develop bonafide medicine for which quality can be assured, dosages can be measured, prescriptions can be issued, and pharmacies can dispense. Get the science right ~ and then we can get the law right.” – Larry Page, Arkansas Committee for Ethics Policy
“Farm Bureau’s current policy is against Issue 6 due to many reasons, such as the potential abuse the amendment would cause. Allowing ‘pain’ opens it up to basically recreational marijuana, and this leads to additional stress to our communities, public safety, and government expense.” – Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation