Resolution Backing MMJ Set To Go Before JPs

Resolution Backing MMJ Set To Go Before JPs
Posted by FoM on May 11, 2000 at 06:50:39 PT
By Kim McGuire
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 
Watching a close friend struggle with the debilitating aftermath of post-polio syndrome motivated Pulaski County Justice of the Peace Wilandra Dean to sponsor a Quorum Court resolution endorsing the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act."I think it a civil rights issue that allows these people one more medical choice," she said, adding that she opposes recreational marijuana use. 
If the quorum court approved the resolution, it will become the first Arkansas governmental body to publicly support the act. Two Quorum Court committees will consider the resolution today. "Because there is so much danger of misunderstanding, I had to think about this very carefully," Dean said. "But I also think it's very important. " Two petitions for ballot measures seeking to legalize marijuana for medicinal use are circulating in Arkansas. Another petition is circulating for a measure backed by the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, that would reduce fines for marijuana possession.The Alliance for Reform of Drug Policy in Arkansas is pushing the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, a proposal similar to an Oregon law that allows patients suffering from specific debilitating illnesses, such as cancer and Multiple Sclerosis, to grow and smoke marijuana. The group needs at least 56,421 petition signatures by July to get the issue placed on the November ballot.Dean has spoken with alliance members who encouraged her support of the act. Some members may speak at tonight's committee meetings. "I believe that physicians should be able to prescribe medication they feel is in the best interest of the patient and not be criminally liable," Dean said.She said she decided to bring the resolution to the Quorum Court for its consideration to get her colleagues to think about the issue but realizes it may be met with some opposition.Denele Campbell, Alliance president, said supporters of medical marijuana often have to overcome a "fear factor before they can openly support the issue. ""I was terrified" said Campbell, a West Fork piano teacher. "I have a business, parents and kids in this community. It was a risk [to publicly support legalizing medical marijuana]. Over the past year, I've found that people when I'm talking to people, their eyes get real big and they usually say, "What did you say? Did you just say that word?" Campbell said the Alliance isn't approaching quorum courts and city councils and asking them to endorse the resolution because the group's first priority is education."When you educate people in leadership roles, they usually decide to take action on their own," Campbell said. "That's what happened with Wilandra. "She said the group has collected between 5000 and 6000 thousand signatures and plans to place volunteers near primary voting booths on May 23 and at Riverfest.The ordinance before the quorum court does not ask justices of the peace to sign the petition. Dean said, however, that petitions would be available for quorum court members who wish to sign the document. Contact: voices Forum: Posted-by: Doc-Hawk News Article Courtesy Of MapInc. Tue, 09 May 2000Copyright: 2000 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.CannabisNews MapInc. Archives: Articles:Backers of 3 MMJ Related Proposals Seek Voters Seeks Aid to Legalize Medical Pot OKs Ballot Title For Proposal On Marijuana Mulls 2 Proposals Making MMJ Legal Medical Marijuana Articles:
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