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Arkansas Senator Files Bills Discouraging Medical Marijuana Use

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Arkansas dispensaries are expected to open in the next few weeks, but one lawmaker is working overtime to discourage medical marijuana use. Senator Cecile Bledsoe filed two bills to ban edibles/beverages and advertisements.

SB 440 would only allow edibles or infused-beverages to be available in hospitals, administered by a health care provider, the Arkansas Times reports. For those that cannot smoke or vape medical marijuana, the passage of this legislation could be detrimental. It’s an easier method of consumption for children, elders and those with respiratory disorders.

SB 441 seeks to ban physicians and caregivers from advertising services related to medical marijuana. It would also ban product advertisement. Additionally, certifying physicians would not be able to use anything marijuana-related in media publications, print or otherwise.

It’s questioned whether SB 440 is permitted under the Arkansas constitutional amendment’s guidelines. The constitution says that alterations to these amendments must be consistent with the policy and purposes of the amendment, and must be germane. A two-thirds majority vote must also accompany qualifying challenges.

Given Bledsoe’s ties to higher-ups in Arkansas, her legislation might have some weight behind it. Her son is the surgeon general, her husband works for the health department. She also has a close relationship with Senator Jim Hendren, who is also the governor’s nephew and the Senate Majority Leader.

She has support from other lawmakers including:

  • Cooper
  • Davis
  • English
  • Flippo
  • Irvin
  • Hester
  • Rapert
  • Stubblefeld
  • Lundstrum
  • Bentley
  • Petty

It isn’t said if these bills are scheduled for votes or hearings yet.