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Put aside, for a moment, if you can, the problems easily foreseen with this new "medical" marijuana that the Arkansas voter approved earlier this month. Put aside, for a moment, if you can, the problems that such legislation caused in other states like Colorado, which saw a significant bump in accidental ODs and kids with dope problems after medical marijuana was approved there. Put aside, for a moment, if you can, the expected push to legalize recreational marijuana in just a few short years, after folks in this state get used to medical marijuana. The same way it happened elsewhere.

Put aside all that for now. Because now we get to watch the government put your tax dollars to work.

Two agencies have been asked to implement the ins and outs of medical marijuana, and just got $3 million in state funds to begin meeting this deadline and that regulation.

The state released $2,475,000 to the Department of Health, which must create a registry of physicians who can write prescriptions for dope. The state will have to create a registry of patients, too. (We're not kidding.) Also, the health department must establish rules on labeling. And testing. And dispensing of the marijuana.

In case you didn't know, the government has a list of 18 qualifying conditions for somebody who wants to get their weed from the pharmacy. We wonder if the government prefers its marijuana from Colombia or Jamaica, or if it leans toward more local flavor--or if there's a list of preferred growers.

The state also approved more than half a million for the Department of Finance and Administration, which must make more rules regarding dispensaries. And there's got to be a Medical Marijuana Commission under the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, appointees all. Government workers are said to be already hard at work drafting rules and regulations for other government workers to sign off on--to keep the paperwork in order.

As for the tax revenue that dope might bring in, it's already being spent. A couple of lawmakers have decided the best thing to do with the weed money is to cut taxes. And then there are rumors of a special marijuana tax. And opponents are already opposing.

Ah, yes, the bureaucracy will get its share. It always does. What, you thought medical marijuana would have been as easy as a visit to the doctor's office?

Folks, this is most assuredly going to be a government operation.

Editorial on 11/22/2016

Print Headline: And so it begins

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  • JMort69
    November 22, 2016 at 2:41 p.m.

    Put aside, if you can the uninformed assumptions made in the above article. Put aside, if you can, the fact that this editor still calls marijuana "dope". Put aside, if you can the fact that the CDC says opioid abuse is killing 46 people a day and Arkansas is 10th in the nation in opioid abuse. As for use by "kids", the CDC has shown that their drugs of choice are the prescription medicines found in their parents' and grandparents' medicine cabinets. I challenge the editor to find one confirmed case of overdose solely from the use of marijuana. I have used both marijuana and Big Pharma's poisons to treat my chronic stomach conditions. I can fully function on marijuana, but, with pills, I couldn't get out of bed. Oh, and by the way, the government gets a cut of Big Pharma's products as well. But, that's OK because the FDA has approved them and the pusher doctors and Big Pharma make millions on them as well. Never mind that they are killing people by the thousands. Would this editor rather see our taxes spent to renovate worn out War Memorial Stadium? I'll tell him what, when he can root out all the pork barrel spending by our state that benefits virtually no one then he can worry about this money that will actually do some good. In addition, this will be revenue generating and, based on revenues generated in similarly populated states, will offset the initial costs and on-going administrative costs. I am so tired of this archaic fear mongering by people who clearly have no idea about the subject. If you have not used marijuana, how can you possibly have an opinion on its effect? Clearly this editor and many elected officials in the state feel they are far more intelligent than the voters in our state. Guess what, so did the national press in the last election, and look how much egg they have on their faces now. The people have spoken and the legislature is mandated to implement this program in a timely manner. So, its time for this editor and others to get over it and move on, you lost!