Change is about the only constant we can be sure of. How that applies to the question of medical marijuana availability in Arkansas is something that remains undecided. That could change soon too, though, because of a couple of initiatives to have the matter decided by voter this fall.
As we noted in an earlier post, battle lines exist over the issue. Opponents of legalizing medical marijuana say it will just open the door to acceptance of recreational use of the drug. Supporters say that’s not their goal. They just want patients who could benefit from the drug’s properties to have access under strict medical supervision. No matter what happens, authorities will enforce the law and drug charges will follow.
But even if Arkansas joins the growing ranks of states that allow the use of medical marijuana, does that mean any sort of door will be open? A recent article appearing in an online medical industry outlet suggests not. It cites individual doctors and some doctor groups who say there are too many questions – legal and scientific.
On the legal side, there is the glaring issue of federal law. The Food and Drug Administration still classifies marijuana, in any form, an illegal controlled substance, and there’s no sign right now that that is going to change. It’s easy to understand why a doctor might be hesitant to jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon.
Doctors say another big issue is that many of them don’t feel prepared to manage the drug properly. Solid research on marijuana’s potential as a remedy is limited. As one doctor puts it, “We just don’t know what we don’t know. And that’s a concern.”
So, even if medical marijuana does become legal in Arkansas, hurdles will likely remain.