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1 US AR: Giant Marijuana Bundle Launched Over U.S.-Mexico Border FenceFri, 25 Aug 2017
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Arkansas Lines:75 Added:08/25/2017

PHOENIX - Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona have seized a nearly 100-pound bundle of marijuana after spotting it flying over the border fence.

Surveillance video on Wednesday captured the large package launching through the air over the fence from Mexico to the U.S. Agents on the ground found a large, plastic-wrapped bundle worth about $48,000.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Dixon said drug smugglers are increasingly launching massive bundles of pot over the border fence, posing a danger to nearby residents and businesses because of their weight. She said she knew of one incident in which a bundle went through the roof of a dog house.

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2US AR: No Applications To Grow, Dispense Arkansas Medical MarijuanaFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Mukunyadzi, Tafi Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

"We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Hardin said earlier in the week. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications."

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3 US AR: LTE: Vote 'No' On Issue 6Tue, 01 Nov 2016
Source:Sentinel-Record, The (AR) Author:Harris, Terri L. Area:Arkansas Lines:77 Added:11/03/2016

Dear editor:

With all of the political rhetoric in the spotlight during this election season, it is sometimes difficult to realize how blessed we are to be Arkansans and how important our choices are - not only in our selection of individuals we will choose to lead and represent us, but also in determining the ballot initiatives we choose to oppose or support.

On Nov. 8, when you go vote, there will be issues on your ballot that change our Constitution or modify our laws. One of those, Issue 6, relates to legalizing marijuana. Issue 6 is being advertised and marketed to you as marijuana for medical use; however, this is a big lie.

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4US AR: Editorial: The Latest DopeTue, 01 Nov 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR)          Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:11/03/2016

THERE was an interesting story in the paper Sunday; actually several, as is the norm. (A salute to the desks that put together that biggest paper of the week.) This article, however, had to do with pot on the ballot.

You've surely heard that Arkansas voters will see a couple of ballot questions having to do with medical marijuana next week. One of them might even have its votes counted. (The Supreme Court has ruled against the other, but your ballots have already been printed.)

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5US AR: 2nd Challenge Filed to Arkansas Medical MarijuanaSat, 03 Sep 2016
Source:Sentinel-Record, The (AR) Author:Demillo, Andrew Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:09/03/2016

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court was asked Friday to disqualify an effort to legalize medical marijuana over potentially invalid signatures, the second challenge filed against a ballot measure to make the drug available to some patients.

Attorney Kara Benca of Little Rock questioned the validity of thousands of signatures that were submitted for the proposal allowing patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana. The measure is among two medical marijuana proposals on the November ballot.

Benca, who didn't immediately return a message late Friday afternoon, claimed more than 15,000 signatures that were submitted for the proposal should be tossed out. Benca identifies herself in the lawsuit as a life-member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which supports legalizing the drug.

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6 US AR: Medical 'Pot' On Party's PlatformTue, 30 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Fanney, Brian Area:Arkansas Lines:174 Added:08/30/2016

Democrats Add Plank for 2016

The backers of two competing medical marijuana initiatives found good news in their cause ending up on the platform of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.

Members of the party met Saturday to hear speeches and take care of business ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, including approving a platform. One of the planks is on medical marijuana.

The plank calls for "the development of a responsible medical marijuana program that will receive patients in need of such relief the freedom to access this remedy."

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7US AR: Governor Pans Medical 'Pot' BidFri, 26 Aug 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR) Author:Demillo, Andrew Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/26/2016

Regulation Would Be a 'Tax Drain' On State, He Tells Counties

HOT SPRINGS (AP) - Legalizing medical marijuana would be a drain on the state's resources, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday as legalization supporters asked the state's highest court to dismiss an attempt to block their proposal this fall.

The governor also expressed opposition to a casino ballot measure while speaking to the Association of Arkansas Counties.

Hutchinson, the former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, said he was concerned about the costs of regulation and enforcement if voters approve legalizing marijuana for some patients.

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8US AR: Governor Opposes Marijuana ProposalsFri, 26 Aug 2016
Source:Sentinel-Record, The (AR) Author:McCloud, Colbie Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/26/2016

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the Association of Arkansas Counties' 48th Annual Conference Thursday that he will oppose two proposals on the November general election ballot that would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

"I will be opposing the two marijuana initiatives," Hutchinson told the conference, which was held at the Hot Springs Convention Center. "You can imagine the enforcement issues and the regulatory issues that are involved with this. I do not see any tax benefits for the state. I see more of a tax drain for the state."

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9 US AR: Group Files Suit Over Title Of Marijuana InitiativeThu, 25 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Fanney, Brian Area:Arkansas Lines:116 Added:08/25/2016

Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana filed suit Wednesday to stop the state from counting votes cast in November for a proposed initiated act that would legalize the drug for medical purposes.

The complaint, filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court, alleges problems with the ballot title of the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.

"It contains misleading statements, omits material information that is essential for a fair understanding of the Act, and is tinged with partisan coloring," the complaint reads in part.

According to the complaint, the ballot title "falsely tells voters that the Act limits the use of marijuana"; "gives the false impression that all marijuana will be tested for quality, safety, and potency"; and "fails to tell the voters that the Act permits 'cannabis care centers' to sell food and drink that contains marijuana," among other issues.

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10 US AR: Column: Competing PrescriptionsWed, 24 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Blagg, Brenda Area:Arkansas Lines:99 Added:08/24/2016

Voters May Face Two Pot-Related Measures in November

Arkansas voters may yet see dueling ballot proposals to allow medical marijuana in this state. Last week, backers of a second pot-related ballot question, a proposed constitutional amendment, submitted what they say is more than enough signatures to get the issue on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office is reviewing the signatures now to determine whether there are enough valid signatures to meet the required threshold.

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11 US AR: New Group Joins Fight Against Two 'Pot' InitiativesWed, 24 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Fanney, Brian Area:Arkansas Lines:91 Added:08/24/2016

A new group has formed to coordinate attacks on the proposed Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act and Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

State Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe is serving as spokesman for the group, Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana.

Members include: the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, the Coalition for Safer Arkansas Communities, the Family Council Action Committee and the Arkansas Committee for Ethics Policy.

"Well, it's a very diverse coalition," Bledsoe said in an interview Tuesday. "We decided to put together all of our collective thinking on this because we're unified on the fact that we think the medical marijuana issues would be bad for the state."

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12 US AR: PUB LTE: Nothing Off The TableMon, 22 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Tripp, Mike Area:Arkansas Lines:47 Added:08/22/2016

While spending endless hours in a waiting room at UAMS I've now read multiple anti-medical marijuana editorials printed in the course of a couple of weeks. It must be nice to have your own bully pulpit. Please excuse my tardiness in responding. I volunteer as a cancer patient advocate and I've been kind of busy.

You seem to be under the impression that cannabis is only used for nausea. You mention the synthetic cannabis anti-nausea drug, Marinol, that makes money for a big drug company. I've worked with cancer patients who take it by the handful with no effect in stopping nausea. Smoking real cannabis does. It also stimulates their appetite, improves mental attitude and relieves pain better than constipation-causing addictive opiates. Cannabis contains a component, CBD (cannibidiol), that's been shown effective for the treatment of childhood epileptic seizure syndromes. An CBD/THC oral spray drug called Sativex is currently on fast-track status with the FDA for the treatment of multiple sclerosis tremors. CBD also shows efficacy against colon cancer. Sativex might also prove effective against my patient's colon cancer, but until medical cannabis is legalized, research is stymied.

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13 US AR: OPED: The Missing CaseSat, 13 Aug 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville,          Area:Arkansas Lines:41 Added:08/13/2016

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has just issued a helpful reminder to all Americans. In denying a petition to loosen restrictions on marijuana, the agency repeated that the drug has "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States.

This may come as a surprise, given that some states already allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat maladies from PTSD to Alzheimer's disease. Yet the truth is, research has yet to find firm evidence that marijuana can alleviate physical suffering.

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14US AR: OPED: Another Reason For CautionWed, 03 Aug 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR)          Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/04/2016

When children steal cookies from the cookie jar, they usually suffer little more than a scolding. When those cookies contain cannabis, it's a different story: According to a study published last week, exposure to marijuana among children in Colorado has increased in the two years since the state began selling the drug legally- and so have the emergency-room visits that follow.

Colorado gave the green light to medical marijuana in 2000. In 2012, the state sanctioned recreational use, and by January 2014, dispensary store shelves were stocked with potent products of all shapes and sizes. Since then, marijuana-related trips to children's care centers have almost doubled, though incidence overall remains low. Edibles in particular seem to entice unsuspecting children who think they are sneaking everyday snacks, though secondhand smoke is also a culprit. After accidental marijuana consumption, most children simply become sleepy. In the worst of cases, they can end up with a breathing tube.

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15 US AR: Arkansas' Pot Proposal Is RejectedWed, 03 Aug 2016
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK)          Area:Arkansas Lines:22 Added:08/04/2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment for the 2018 ballot that would legalize marijuana in the state.

The proposal by Mary Berry, of Summit, would allow for the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, possession and use of the cannabis plant and all products taken from the plant, including marijuana.

Rutledge wrote in an opinion released Monday that the proposal is being rejected because of ambiguities in the text.

[end]

16 US AR: Coalition Hosts Meeting About Medical Marijuana ProposalSat, 23 Jul 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Fanney, Brian Area:Arkansas Lines:104 Added:07/23/2016

If passed, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act would be one of the most permissive medical marijuana measures in the country, Henny Lasley, a founding member of Smart Colorado, said Friday.

Lasley was the headline speaker at a meeting of the Coalition for Safer Arkansas Communities held at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock. The meeting attracted about 35 people, among them law enforcement officers, lawmakers and employees of treatment centers. The coalition says on its website that is an organization of parents, teachers, medical professionals, law enforcement officials, business owners and community leaders.

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17US AR: Editorial: Don't Go To PotMon, 18 Jul 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR)          Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/18/2016

For the Sake of Your Health

AT LEAST a couple of proposals legalizing "medical" marijuana are now angling for a place on November's ballot. Which means the state's Health Department may be called on to issue many a clarification between now and then. The first one came out last week. To quote Nathaniel Smith, M.D., and director of the department: "There was a statement by one of the proponents of medical marijuana that she had spoken to the Department of Health and that we were gearing up, expecting this ballot initiative to pass. That's not correct."

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18US AR: Editorial: A Non-EndorsementFri, 15 Jul 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR)          Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/15/2016

FOLKS at the Health Department in this state were very careful about their words. As always. No need to make the controversial even more problematic.

The department was not to those pushing "medical" marijuana on the November ballots. The department was clarifying its position. Call the brass at the Health Department what you will, but don't call them impolitic.

It seems that somebody pushing, and we mean pushing, dope- as- medicine had said something on one of the radio stations in central Arkansas, something about perhaps the department gearing up in case one of the medical marijuana proposals passes this fall. The director of the department, Nathaniel Smith, told the papers that is not the case.

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19 US AR: Health Department: No To Legal 'Pot'Wed, 13 Jul 2016
Source:Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Fayetteville, Author:Fanney, Brian Area:Arkansas Lines:126 Added:07/14/2016

The Arkansas Department of Health said Tuesday it will not support ballot measures intended to legalize medical marijuana in the state, saying in a statement that the drug is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

The news came after Melissa Fults, campaign manager for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, appeared on the Dave Elswick Show on radio station KHTE-FM, 96.5.

"There was a statement by one of the proponents of medical marijuana that she had spoken to the Department of Health and that we were gearing up, expecting this ballot initiative to pass," said Nathaniel Smith, director of the Department of Health, in an interview. "That's not correct."

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20US AR: Editorial: Going To PotTue, 12 Jul 2016
Source:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR)          Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:07/12/2016

See Through All the Smoke

NOT JUST one but a couple of competing proposals to legalize "medical" marijuana in Arkansas may appear on November's already crowded ballot. There's both an initiated act and a constitutional amendment in the works. The campaign manager for the first has been pressing the sponsor of the second to withdraw his. If both appear on the ballot, says Melissa Fults, both will fail. But its sponsor, David Couch, says nothing doing. Happily, there's enough opposition to both bad ideas to indicate they're both in trouble. Arkansas doesn't need either one, let alone both.

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