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Smart talk, Nov. 20



No penalty for pot


Fifty-three percent of Arkansas voters want to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to a new poll.

Zogby International conducted the on-line poll of 436 voters from Nov. 7 to Nov. 11. The poll was commissioned by the Drug Policy Education Group, headquartered in Fayetteville.

Zogby found that 35 percent of respondents “strongly support” a law that would “eliminate the penalties for adult marijuana possession of one ounce or less.” Seventeen percent “somewhat support” the proposal, making a total of 53 percent for the proposal. (The percentages were rounded off.)

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they “strongly oppose” the proposed decriminalization, and 7 percent said they “somewhat oppose” decriminalization, for a total of 45 percent.

Fayetteville voters approved an initiated ordinance Tuesday instructing Fayetteville police to give their lowest priority to misdemeanor marijuana arrests. That same day, Massachusetts became the 12th state to decriminalize marijuana. 


Surf's up in Argenta


The dream of ardent web surfers is an umbrella of free wireless signals wherever they go. Keep dreaming. But thanks to the efforts of Scott Miller's Argenta Holdings and Brian Converse's Kharma Consulting, downtown North Little Rock provides a haven for web access.

More than 100 wireless antennas have been installed in 45 blocks of the area known as Argenta, an up-and-coming area that includes new restaurants, City Hall, new apartments and new homes. Argenta Wireless, as the project is known, will be accessible indoors and out at no cost. Miller figures the network will be an inducement to home buyers in the neighborhood, where he also lives. He thinks it's the largest wireless network outside a university campus in the state.


Need a cave?


Mystic Caverns, a tourist attraction at Marble Falls, is up for sale. It's listed on eBay for $899,000 in a classified section, not in an absolute auction. Owner Steve Rush had originally put a $1.2 million price on the 29 acres, including a gift shop and three caves, two of which are said to be safe for tours. The property is five miles north of the Pruitt access to the Buffalo National River on Highway 7. Commercial tours of the cave began in the 1920s.

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