Marijuana Group Trying To Get Two Issues on Ballot

Marijuana Group Trying To Get Two Issues on Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on July 07, 2006 at 07:15:14 PT
By Trish Hollenbeck, Northwest Arkansas Times
Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
Arkansas -- Members of a group who support medical use of marijuana and making enforcement of marijuana laws a low priority by local police conducted a press conference Thursday in front of the Fayetteville Town Center. Luke Vinze, a representative with Fairness for Fayetteville, gave a presentation of the organization’s goals during the conference. There were a handful of people attending.
The group is circulating two local initiatives: one to allow doctors to recommend the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, and another to make adult misdemeanor marijuana possession a lower priority for the city’s police. Vinze said 5, 000 signatures are needed for each petition to be put on the ballot, and the group has so far collected at least 1, 000 signatures for each petition. There is a September deadline. The group, Vinze said, will probably be set up each Saturday on the Fayetteville downtown Square to try to collect signatures. “ These are both very controversial issues and each side has its pros and cons, ” Vinze said. The group’s goal, he said, is to open the subject up to debate. The proposal on medical marijuana would allow seriously ill patients who obtain a physician’s recommendation to use medical marijuana without penalty. It would also allow physicians to recommend medical use of marijuana to a person who is seriously ill, without fear of prosecution. The low priority initiative would make violent and property crimes a higher priority for law enforcement than an adult misdemeanor marijuana possession. As a medicine, Vinze said, marijuana is routinely used to treat multiple sclerosis, AIDS, the effects of chemotherapy, epilepsy and glaucoma, among others. Twelve states, he said, have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana and results have been successful. There is a synthetic use of marijuana regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in pill form and prescribed by thousands of physicians, Vinze said. It is called marinol. While it works for some patients, he said, it lacks several therapeutic compounds and is more psychoactive than natural cannabis. Twelve states, he said, have passed legislation similar to a low-priority initiative and marijuana has not been shown to increase in use. Ryan Denham, president of the organization, wrote in an e-mail that the medical petition simply says that a doctor is allowed to recommend the use of marijuana, not prescribe it. The low priority petition, he said, states that marijuana is the lowest priority in the city of Fayetteville, but it would not change any fines. “ Arkansas is not a ‘ home rule’ state, which means we are not allowed to pass laws in a municipality or county that contradict state code. So instead of lowering the fines, we said that adult misdemeanor offenses are the lowest priority, and also limited Fayetteville’s budgetary process to not allow any money to be spent to enforce state or federal marijuana laws, ” he stated. Columbia, Mo., he said, passed similar petitions, even though there is a state law that states that marijuana is illegal. Newshawk: MayanSource: Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)Author: Trish Hollenbeck, Northwest Arkansas TimesPublished: Friday, July 7, 2006Copyright: 2006 Community Publishers Inc.Contact: email nwarktimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by Sukoi on July 07, 2006 at 16:53:09 PT
Jaywalking should be a much higher priority for LEO's as it kills many more people than cannabis ever could...
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on July 07, 2006 at 09:19:45 PT
Good Luck to the good folks in Arkansas
I know with all that Jim Crow thing, and dry counties,Wish you'all the best of luck in this crusade towards justice and freedom.Have no fear, you will age and tire and you will start to question your place in this world.Remember, even the judge will stand before the court of Eternity.
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