Tuesday's meeting of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana was business as usual even as House and Senate committees take up bills today that could redirect the Commission's momentum.
The commission meeting began with a presentation by Lauren Ballard, revenue legal counsel at the Department of Finance and Administration, on what litigation followed from other states' medical marijuana programs--cautionary tales for these five commissioners, only one of whom, Travis Story of Fayetteville, is a lawyer.
"I don’t see the upside to [more] regulation," Roman said, 'it’s a burden."
"War Memorial Stadium," Roman called out.
"You know, War Memorial Stadium may not be a bad idea with this amount of public interest," Finance and Administration chief counsel Joel DiPippa said.
Of course, at noon today the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor may take up Senate Bill 238 sponsored by Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow), which would delay medical marijuana in the state until the federal government legalizes it.
Two more bills by state Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale) would ban both the smoking, and the eating (or even drinking), of marijuana by registered patients.
"You can't eat it, you can't smoke it — we're going to be the only rectal medical marijuana state in the country," Roman, an anesthesiologist, said after the meeting.
Similarly, the House Select Committee on Rules plans to take up seven bills sponsored by Rep. Doug House (R- North Little Rock), all on medical marijuana. None of these though are meant to debilitate the program.
Arkansans voted Nov. 8 for medical marijuana by a margin of about 6-7 percent.
"The people voted for it, again I didn’t vote for the bill but the people voted for it. Let’s do this in the safest, fairest way we can, make it successful. I mean, I don’t think it does well for legislators to come in and subvert something the people of Arkansas voted for."
The Senate committee meets at 10 a.m. in Room 272 of the Capitol, the House committee at noon in the MAC building.
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