Home » Editorials

Marijuana has legal place in Arkansas

Submitted by Geoffrey Bara on November 1, 2012 – 12:47 pm2 Comments

In the upcoming election, Arkansas may join California and 17 other states in legalizing marijuana for medical use.  I think that’s terrific.

The panic some Arkansans feel about legalization might be evidence of an anxiety disorder and could be alleviated with marijuana.  Doctors in other states have found marijuana to be extremely useful in treating several disorders including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, insomnia and anorexia nervosa.  Marijuana is also helpful in the restoration of appetite in cancer patients where chemotherapy has depleted it.  Even if all of these things weren’t true, though, I still don’t see any reason whatsoever why marijuana shouldn’t be legal.

To begin with, you don’t have to do anything to it but pick it out of the ground.  In a state so fond of its natural beauty, I find it interesting that so many artificial painkillers would be preferred to something one can cultivate in one’s own backyard.  Or, you know, properly lit closet.

In addition, it’s good for business.  In some previously struggling communities in California, my home state, local economies began to flourish again based on the taxable revenue legal marijuana provided.

Also, it’s my belief that if marijuana were readily and legally available, marijuana-related crime would, logically,  go down.  Crime will always exist, but I can’t envision a future wherein marijuana is legal and people are still selling it on the streets with guns in their trunks.  If in fact they do that now.

I think that most detractors feel that marijuana shouldn’t be legalized because they have unfounded negative opinions of it.  Marijuana and its users have a stigma surrounding it and them; crime, laziness, poor grooming habits and excessive consumption of salty, crunchy things.  Some of this is true for some people and not for others.  Stereotyping is never a healthy behavior.

Alcohol is readily available almost all over Arkansas.  There are some dry counties and even here in Little Rock you can’t buy booze on Sundays.  Even with those minor obstacles, though, it’s never too hard to get in the car and find a bar to get a beer.  Alcohol abuse has been proven to be just as if not more harmful than marijuana abuse.  Just like with alcohol and everything else, marijuana consumed sensibly and in moderation isn’t harmful.

I realize that sounds as though I approve of the use of marijuana even in cases where it isn’t deemed medically necessary.  That’s true as well.  If brandy can be taken medicinally and for relaxation as well, why not marijuana?  I just have a hard time looking at it the same way I do cocaine or heroin or crack.  Those are drugs.  Those have to be manufactured.  And those will make a person do crazy, irrational, illegal things he or she will almost certainly regret.  The biggest mistake I’ve heard of someone making while safely using marijuana at home was accidentally consuming an entire pizza.  I can’t see too much harm in that.

We don’t even have to sell it on Sundays.



  • Lynne says:

    Legalizing the use of marijuana should accompanied by clear and strict law policy. Yes it is very beneficial to some people but other people can abuse the use of it that can be harmful not just for themselves but to other people as well.

  • Legalizing marijuana for medical use is great news for patients who need them. this is natural stuff and there is no harm when used moderately.