By Terrah Baker
When I talked with Jerry Cox of the Family Council Action Committee (FCAC) for the medical marijuana story published on Aug. 23, I was shocked by his “misleading” statements.
Mistruth #1: “If an individual lives a certain number of miles form a dispensary then that individual can grow their own marijuana. That’s a little bit like saying if you live a certain distance from a liquor store you can make your own moonshine, but for medical purposes only,” Cox told me when discussing his concerns.
I guess you could say that. Except no one has ever said alcohol makes him or her feel less nauseous after, and dulls the pain of, chemotherapy.
Mistruth #2: “As far as I know, no credible, mainline medical or pharmaceutical associations have endorsed medical marijuana anywhere. And so if this were a really good idea for people who are sick, one would think the doctors would be clamoring for marijuana to be legalized for medical purposes, but they’re not,” he also said.
This one is more of a display of ignorance or blatant lie on the topic, as there are many professional health associations that support access to medical marijuana domestically and around the world, to include the American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs (in 2001) and the American Public Health Association (in 1995).
Mistruth #3: “That’s the other problem is it allows the permeation of marijuana throughout our culture, not just to people who have an illness, but to anybody,” he said.
This is always a possibility, and a fear of many, but he surprisingly made a great argument against this in a statement he made a little later in the conversation.
“You could make the argument that people are already addicted and you can buy all the weed you want to anytime you want, but I’m not sure [legalization] is the solution to the problem,” he said.
So if we can already buy all of the weed we want in our society, where are we getting it? Black market? Mexico? Either way, regulating something that’s already available in order to make it safer for patients and end black market rivalry, gang fighting and empires doesn’t seem like a terrible idea.
It was ironic that not much longer after our conversation, Cox’s organization filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Arkansas, stating the ballot title for the medical marijuana measure could be “misleading” to Arkansas voters.
Well, according to Attorney David Couch for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, his truths of the matter show the measure will be on the ballot in November.
Truth #1: “One of the lawsuit’s arguments is that marijuana is illegal under federal law, and because it’s illegal under federal law you can’t have a state law that violates that… But it’s been decided in other issues in other cases that state law is different from federal law and especially when deciding what may and may not be illegal,” the attorney said.
Truth #2: “[FCAC] are saying that the ballot title … doesn’t accurately inform the voters of what’s in the amendment. But the law doesn’t require you to put everything that’s in the amendment. The key issue is, is it a fair and impartial summary of the amendment and is there something in there that might give a voter cause for concern,” he said.
And since the Arkansas Attorney General reworded the ballot title originally submitted by advocates of the measure, the attorney believes their argument is more of a political than legal one.
Truth #3: In an interview with Jerry Cox on KARK Channel 4 out of Little Rock, two days before the FACC filed the lawsuit, the parents of an 8-year-old girl suffering from a brain tumor and going through chemotherapy said they should have the right to get the natural form of THC (currently she is taking a synthetic form) to help their daughter eat again, having lost her appetite.
“We have no problem with that….,” he said. He went on to say their problem was with individuals being allowed to grow it. But since marijuana’s already so available (as Cox said), why not?