Arkansas Online reports on police chief’s surprisingly biased and inaccurate speech against medical marijuana in Arkansas.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner delivered his speech at a political luncheon recently, with voters going to the polls in less than two months to cast their votes on whether medical use of marijuana should become legal in Arkansas.
The two proposals approved for the ballot on November the 8th are the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment as well as the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Buckner, head of the state’s biggest police department, told the audience at Political Animals Club of Little Rock that medical marijuana is a scam, and nothing else but a Trojan horse leading to recreational use.
Would marijuana fix cities’ problems?
He asked the audience to use their intelligent minds to fathom all the problems in the city and ask themselves if marijuana would fix it.
He said there are medically intelligent arguments from people who get relief from horrendous pain, but he trusts the medical field can find another solution (perhaps opioids?) He called the proposal for medical marijuana a “hot-button”. On behalf of a coalition of five state groups named ‘Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana’, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also delivered speeches opposing the medical use of cannabis. We are glad to hear that they are in good health.
Those for the proposal said marijuana is a nontoxic, non-addictive alternative treatment for chronic medical conditions. In 2012 Arkansans voted against a similar proposal by a small margin.
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Medical marijuana makes it available to kids
Sheriff Doc Holladay from Pulaski County also expressed his opposition to medical marijuana, saying he is concerned about marijuana becoming available to the kids of the community. He said he is not a doctor, and he is sure there is some justification for medical marijuana, but he couldn’t support the proposal for fear of making marijuana more available than what it already is.
A major concern often voiced by those opposing legalizing medical marijuana is that more teenagers would smoke pot, but this assumption was proved wrong by a study published in Lancet Psychiatry, showing no significant difference in adolescent use of marijuana in the 21 states with medical marijuana laws.
Medical marijuana laws don’t increase teenage users
An extensive study of data over 24 years from a million teenagers in 48 states found no evidence that medical marijuana being legal results in teenagers using it more.
Data on teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 from 1991-2014 was reviewed. Deborah Hasin, Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said this study provides the strongest evidence to date that legalizing medical marijuana does not increase recreational use by teenagers.
It seems the police chief is either ill-informed or deliberately playing on citizens’ fears.
More studies show no increase
A study in 2013 by Colorado Department of Health and Environment found marijuana use in high schools decreased from 22% in 2011 to 20% in 2013, demonstrating that legalizing medical marijuana didn’t send a message that it was okay to use it recreationally. Perhaps the use of marijuana as a medicine is also resulting in a reduction of the “cool rebel” image.
Another study in California, where medical marijuana has been approved for years, supports these findings and showed teenage use increased in the time during which data was collected, but not in the states where medical marijuana was legal.
Dr. Kevin Hill of McLean Hospital’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse confirmed that research suggests medical marijuana laws do not increase adolescent use, and future laws should at least take this into consideration.
Medical cannabis does not increase teen recreational use. Playing on people’s emotions for the sake of a political agenda when research debunks your primary argument is unethical. Or was the Police chief just uninformed?