HMJ keeps returning to the ballot issue in Arkansas because, as we say, when the middle of the country gives in, the whole mess is going to come down. Now the Arkansas initiative has produced an interesting crossroads for the good people of Arkansas. Follow along:
“The proposal on next Tuesday’s ballot calls for allowing patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor’s recommendation, but local governments also could ban the facilities. Local officials opposed to the measure are exploring that as a backup plan, but also say they’re worried it could lead to a proliferation of home-grown marijuana.
That’s because while the proposal allows local governments to restrict the dispensaries, they cannot prohibit another part of the measure that would allow qualifying patients to grow their own marijuana if they live more than five miles away from a dispensary.
“The ability to grow six marijuana plants could make this more pervasive in our society than the dispensaries themselves. I think each jurisdiction, each county would have to look at that question,” said Chris Villines, executive director of the Association of Arkansas Counties, a group opposed to the measure. “Do you want the dispensaries or do you want to have a more ubiquitous growing operation across your county?”
Supporters of the medical marijuana proposal say they wanted to allow local governments to have some say over the number of dispensaries, but didn’t want to render the law moot by allowing them to prohibit patients from growing themselves. Chris Kell, campaign strategist for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said he believes counties would rather allow the dispensaries so they could have some oversight rather than banning them outright.
“It’s going to be treated the same way alcohol is now,” Kell said.
Forty of Arkansas’ 75 counties ban alcohol sales, but allow exceptions for private clubs. Kell thinks it would be counterproductive for local governments to ban the dispensaries, and said most patients would prefer going to them rather than growing their own marijuana.”
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I imagine a future where in each neighborhood there is one house / apartment / condo where growing cannabis is done on a collective basis. The collective grows for itself. Think of the control over quality. And price would be whatever it costs the collective to grow the herb. I like this picture of the future. How’s it seem to you?
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[image: Google images Arkansas]