by Max Brantley
The Family Council is going to take time off from beating up on gay people and restricting women's medical services to work at keeping medical marijuana out of the hands of suffering people in Arkansas.
News release here on the Religious Right political group's opposition to an initiated act to legalize use of marijuana as a medicine.
Lead crusader Jerry Cox's timeless remarks here.
Before long I will have an easy link to their first TV commercial. They'll also be pounding social media and their network of right-wing churches in the fight against pain relief.
Better information here from Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which will be waging the campaign for medical marijuana. The initiated act would allow sale of small amounts of marijuana at up to 30 dispensaries (sale must be approved by local option) for people with specific diagnosed conditions. People living more than 5 miles from a dispensary will be able to grow up to six plants.
Cox condescendingly refers to many "well intended" marijuana backers. He can't do his usual full-throated Army of the Lord fire-and-brimstone act against sinners — as he does when attacking gays' and women's rights — because the benefciary is sick people, many elderly, not bullied gay children or pushy women intent on wresting control of their bodies from people like Cox. It's also an issue on which Arkansans have repeatedly demonstrated warmth in polling. So things could get interesting.
I confess ambivalence. I lean more toward full decriminalization and have some questions about the twilight zone of legalizing trade in a substance the feds deem illegal. But there's nothing like a Family Council pronouncement to firm up my thinking.
UPDATE: Arkansans for Compassionate Care will have Montel Williams at a news conference next week endorsing the measure.
UPDATE II: Plenty of drama in the Family Council's film noir ad, full of guns, menacing black people (a favorite prop in Republican advertising) and a reference to "stoned-out zombies." It's blatantly dishonest. It says no prescriptions will be required, when a written order from a physician is required, a license from the state and a purchase from a legal dispensary. (When are they going after Rush's drug of choice, Oxycontin, I wonder?) Slimy stuff, even by the Family Council's bottom-of-the-barrel standards.