Arkansas Governor, Doctors oppose Medical Marijuana Initiatives

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on September 15, 2016.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson along with top doctors and members of medical community across the state opposed the medical marijuana initiatives at a news conference at the capitol on Monday.

Hutchinson, a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), talked about his opposition to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment and the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act -- two new ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for qualified patients.

"Smoking marijuana is not what's needed. It hasn't been tested. It has to go through the FDA approval process, and it's really not right to determine what’s good medicine from a ballot initiative,” Hutchinson said at the news conference, flanked by several doctors.

The Republican Governor accused medical marijuana supporters over misleading voters about marijuana’s benefits for the patients. "The initiatives that will be put on the ballot, do not lead to good medicine, it is not good medical practice, and it is not best for the patient,” the Governor added.

Hutchinson reiterated that the availability of Marinol, a prescription that drug that contains a synthetic form of the active ingredient in marijuana. “Those who stand with me today are in the medical profession; because they care and they want the best for their patients”, Hutchinson said.

Dr. Richard Smith, an addiction specialist at UAMS said, "We would never advise anybody to dry something, set it on fire, and breathe it into their lungs. It's ludicrous to think that's a way you'd go about delivering medicine.”

Premier  organizations which have been against medical marijuana include Arkansas Medical Society,  Arkansas Hospital Association, UAMS , Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), Arkansas Department of Health (ADH),  Arkansas Heart Hospital, Family Physician Association and Pharmacy Association.

Notably, Arkansas voters narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana four years ago. They will vote on whether or not medical marijuana should be legal in the state in the forthcoming November ballot.

comments powered by Disqus