How Arkansas Became The First Bible Belt State to Embrace Medical Marijuana
Leading into the 2016 Election Night, half of the nation had medical marijuana laws in place. After Tuesday, among the four states to join those ranks was Arkansas, the first in the Bible Belt to adopt a medical marijuana law. The idea of medical marijuana and offering another avenue of treatment for people facing various ailments is no longer controversial in the eyes of many Americans, especially in light of the opioid epidemic.
There’s Still A Catch…
And that catch is that patients cannot grow their own, as they can in other states. That’s fine with most, as it takes a lot of knowledge to properly grow a pot plant (seriously – it does). With their approval of Issue 6 on Tuesday, voters will allow patients with a variety of medical conditions and a doctor’s permission to buy marijuana from dispensaries.
Some political leaders said they preferred that Arkansas legislators instead allow a version of the drug that is low in THC, which gives marijuana its high. But, this didn’t happen and once dispensaries and up and running those with prescriptions can legally partake in one of the best natural healers on Earth.
What Does This Mean For The Rest Of The Bible Belt?
While Arkansas is one of the most conservative states, this law did pass with a 53-46 vote. While it wasn’t a landslide, it did pass, and some are wondering if this means that the rest of the Bible Belt will follow. Perhaps – but there will be hangups. For example, Georgia’s legislature has to vote and approve a measure before it ends up on a ballot. This is unlikely, and CBD Oil was a big fight a few years ago, even though it was severely controlled.
Georgia may be a “no” right now, thanks to their uber-conservative state house, but other states that are more diverse may have this on their ballots in the next two or four years.
What Happens Next?
Well, the logical thing would be for dispensaries up and running, but some are worried. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson didn’t clearly answer when asked if he would hand over the promised $3 million to start up these dispensaries. It’s unlikely that he will hold it up, since his voters have spoken, but it is a small possibility. There is a June 2017 deadline for dispensaries to sign up for the funds, and so far few have. But, it’s just a few days after the election, so more should jump on board soon.