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Marijuana: Arkansas Town Joins List of Locales With Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Initiatives This November

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #455)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is the latest community to join the ranks of those voting on initiatives that would make marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority. Similar efforts have been victorious in Seattle and Oakland and the college town of Columbia, Missouri; and this year, Missoula, Montana, and three California cities -- Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Monica -- already have lowest priority initiatives qualified for the ballot.

marijuana bust
Thanks to the efforts of nearby University of Arkansas NORML, who put on the signature gathering effort, the Carroll County Election Commission approved the measure for the ballot Monday. The measure would make the arrest and prosecution of marijuana possession cases involving less than an ounce the lowest law enforcement priority.

“We believe this is going to free up other police resources to deal with more serious crimes,” local NORML chapter president Ryan Denham told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Eureka Springs Police Chief Earl Hyatt was not enthused, though he did sound a bit confused. He errantly told the Democrat-Gazette the measure would contradict state and federal law, but it would only direct police to set a policy regarding law enforcement priorities. “Whether it passes or not, if it’s in contradiction with state or federal law, it doesn’t count,” Hyatt said.

NORML's Denham told the local newspaper the campus group had originally set out to mount campaigns in Fayetteville, where the university is, but aborted those efforts after realizing they would fall short. Instead, they aimed at the smaller Eureka Springs, where only 144 valid signatures -- 15% of those voting in the last mayoral election -- were required. The group handed in 156.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

yeah, chief Hyatt, don't pay attentiom to what the voters say... just enforce the laws to your personal opinion. that's why I moved out of Arkaksas.

Mon, 10/02/2006 - 3:57pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I think alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana as social drug.

Sun, 02/25/2007 - 11:14am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I think people act dum when they're on pot but as long as they act dum in one town and not in mine then rock on dum dums.

Thu, 06/28/2007 - 11:34pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I have Fibromyalgia, and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Both are seperate conditions, but typically end up being paired together. I am in extreme pain everyday of my life, all day. Nothing relieves that pain, not even strong narcotics. They take the edge off and that's is, but the nausea that comes with those pills is tremendous and unbearable at times. My religious views strongly contradict the use of recreational drugs like Marijuana. However, I do believe if it is used in a controlled manner, and monitored by a trusted physician, then Marijuana can be an answer to some people's chronic pain and nausea such as mine. I have yet to try this as a therapy, and it would certainly be my last option. But in the event that no other medications work, then why should this medical marijuana NOT be made available? It is a natural substance that can save lives, literally. When people are in pain all the time, and never get relief, then they become depressed and even suicidal. So, a day without pain can save a life. I know the stigma that comes with "pot heads", but what about those of us that have no other way to feel better? I pray that I do not have to resort to the use of marijuana, but if I do, I would hope that it will be legalized by then. It just might save my sanity and help me to accomplish more than just being in pain all the time. I wish people were more understanding of the fact that those of us that would resort to medical marijuana, are only trying to stop the pain, not become "dum dums" as some of you mentioned. Open your minds and try to think that if you were in pain constantly, you would do anything possible to make it stop. I hope this helps some of you in the future.

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 8:18pm Permalink
Lindadee (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I am in the same boat in severe pain 24 hours a day & what you wrote & how you wrote it spells it out perfectly. Thank you
Mon, 10/08/2012 - 3:34pm Permalink
iwannakickuras… (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

fuck you, you ignorant hillbilly, people in your town are already high on the reefer. you just don't know cuz ur stupid. u can't stop, nor should you try, to stop people from doin what they wanna do as long as it doesn't hurt you.

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 8:59pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Medical Marijuana

Name: John Self
State: Arkansas
City:: Little Rock
Zipcode: 72210

I use Medical Marijuana, Rater then the prozac that my doctor gives me for depression and Migraines,
Psychological Condition and severe nausea.

I am a actvist who uses it for a legal use and feel my rights in arknasas are not repesented by our local govener of senat commity members We must make a stand as one and let these people know we will not lay down and suffer to there abusive Marijuana LAWS poeple like me suffer every day because of the laws in this state.

I may be forced to move to a more Medical Marijuana :

California Medical Marijuana Program

In 1996, the voters of California passed Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act. Within California, the Act allows for the recommendation by a physician for the medical use of marijuana by a patient, and the cultivation, transportation and use of marijuana for medical purposes by patients and caregivers. The Compassionate Use Act exempts patients, caregivers and physicians who recommend the use of marijuana for medical purposes from criminal laws, punishment, or the denial of any rights or privileges. To address uncertainties and clarify the scope of the Act for patients, caregivers, law enforcement and others, Senate Bill (SB) 420 (Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003) was written into law in December of 2003 (see California Health and Safety Code, Article 2.5, Sections 11362.7 through 11362.83).
The MMP, within the CDHS, was established in 2004 to facilitate the registration of qualified patients and their caregivers, through a statewide identification system. Participation in the program is voluntary for patients and the patient’s primary caregiver. Through their county of residence, qualified patients and their caregivers may apply for and be issued an identification card. This card will be used to verify those patients and caregivers that have authorization to possess, grow, transport and/or use medical marijuana in California. To facilitate the verification of authorized cardholders, a registration database is available on the Internet:
The costs of the Program are fee supported. Both the state and counties have authority to cover their expenses through application fees.

Amendment 20, approved by Colorado voters in November 2000, authorizes the use of marijuana to alleviate certain debilitating medical conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis. In addition, patients and physicians may submit petitions to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to include other medical conditions that may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana. Amendment 20 authorizes a patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card to possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.

Identification card
A patient diagnosed with a debilitating condition that may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana may apply to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card.

How to apply
The patient must obtain certification from a physician licensed in Colorado that he/she has been diagnosed with a debilitating condition that may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana.

The certifying physician should keep a copy of the certification and other documentation supporting the diagnosis in the patient medical record.

The patient should submit an application form along with the Physician Certification form or other documentation provided by the physician and the non-refundable $90.00 application fee to the:

Medical Marijuana Registry
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, Colorado 80246-1530
Please make payment by check or money order made payable to CDPHE. Please do not send cash.

The Registry will verify the licensure status of the physician and will contact the physician to verify the certification. Verifications will occur within 30 days of receipt of the application. The Registry will mail the patient a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card within 5 days after the verification.
The patient will also be notified within 5 days after the verification process if the application has been denied.

Why can't we be free who has a legal Medical reasons to use Marijuana be alowed to do so in peace do we have to take our tax paying dollars to anther state befor they get the hint we have the right to use it and our vote does count!!!

[email protected]

Fri, 06/06/2008 - 8:10am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This is my point of view...I support the use of Medical Marijuana in Arkansas. I would rather smoke a joint than take a pill that causes a multitude of side effects that you would just have to take another pill for..I type medical reports all day long and people have lists of 20 different medications they have to take because half of them are prescribed to counter the side effects from the ones they have to take..I think it is ridiculous....I know a multitude of people who use marijuana to alleviate pain, depression, nausea, suppressed appetites, for glaucoma and cancer....I believe that just because this state is so far behind in the does not give them the right to make the tax paying marijuana smoking law abiding citizens pay for the opinions of those who probably have never smoked a joint a day in their life....If they would...they would probably feel a lot better!!

Wed, 11/12/2008 - 10:05am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)


Wed, 03/04/2009 - 4:45pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

That's because you can't self control your junkie head. People like you probably wind in AA. The Difference is between Social Drinker & Lush Head on any habit forming occasion. If a Lush is taking pain pills all the time, then how do you treat pain when it really happens. If you get abusive when you drink then don't (drink). Some people can have a drink but SoMe people know they shouldn't. If somethings wrong or don't feel right just stop duh dummies. Weed can be abused if you smoke too much and you know you're already there. Save it for later. I don't really believe pharmaceuticals are the only answer. being a mentally ill patient knowing meds don't always work with your body. Different People Different Effects including weed depending on your severity. Anti Depressants aren't always effective. I've known people to take 30 different types of medice to cope with life. This Answer is a better answer then electro shock treatment. I seen patients get worse after the treatment including memory loss. They both do that but which is safer?

Tue, 11/10/2009 - 1:01am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This was a great step for Arkansas. But we cant let our gaurd down yet even though we have gotten a small victory it wouldnt take much for us to take a step backwards. Just curious Med. Marijuana how did weed cause you to have a morphin addiction buts its better? Maybe i am just missing something here

Thu, 05/07/2009 - 3:24am Permalink
finklrfry (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

What the D.E.A. should do instead of wasting precious resources when they burn fields of pot, is to instead utilize the energy for fuel and food to feed the needy. I'm talking about the real needy not the people they just think they need something. I guess there's a thin line there.

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 4:40pm Permalink
Monticello Bud God (not verified)

Look Marijuana is far less in it's con's than that of alcohol and tobacco. Do your googling......aka research. people have done marijuana Since the U.S began..... Ben Frank.,,, Thomas Jeff......George Washington....all smoked pot.............are the dumb........hmmmm... lets see no.... declaration of indep. hmm written on hemp paper.... shit grow up people....most people who bad mouth marijuana never have tried it.... look its healthier not to smoke at all... but look you can ingest marijuana... look pharmaceutical companies know marijuana THC has great potential or there would not be such a pill as marinol very very expensive cancer drug..... the thing is if marijuana was legal pharmaceutical companies would be out of a lot of money due to the fact that you can patent a plant......Look your children would be safe if marijuana was distributed by licensed vendors because that in turn doesn't have an individual look into the black market for the substance with other harder substances are dealt as well.... Say you kid goes to the PJ's to get a dime bag of weed cant find it..... but his dealer says hey i don't have weed but this MDMA exstacy will get you high for ten bucks too.... kid gets the other drug... because preferred drug is not available and because black market dealers deal in anything that can turn a buck....So people be smart.....cause most people are going to get high... and these people are your son's and daughters and be a better person...learn to live beside your neighbor.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 4:27pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

It is stupid for money that could be going towards taxes, and therefore education and worthwhile law enforcement, to go directly into the hands of the people that risk selling and trafficking this relatively harmless drug. Growing up, I was severely depressed, and was put on Prozac, Wellbutrin, Effexor, etc. Nothing worked, and a few years later it has been discovered that many of these anti-depressants have actually increased suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Since self-medicating with marijuana, (which I vaporize, by the way, eliminating all but three chemicals from the plant matter) I have had much less anxiety, been more social, and even been more productive in my artistic pursuits. Marijuana was initially made illegal mostly because our lovely leaders associated it with hispanics and blacks. Now that we are a country that deludes itself into thinking it has made racism a thing of the pass, we need to let people that benefit from this drug's helpful properties. Yes, it has been proven that marijuana can lead to harder drug usage, but if we stopped equating it with ecstacy, cocaine, and LSD then maybe people using it wouldn't automatically feel as though they've already entered the crazy world of illegal drug usage. The idea that people can get oxycontin for pain and not something as harmless as pot is just absurd.

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 2:32pm Permalink
jeff jones (not verified)

ITS A GOOD MED!!! I live in Arkansas and i was diegnosed with parinoid scysophrinc severe anxity and deprestion!  see i hear voices of people that are not there. people might think its bull but wen i smoke it takes away the voices for a medium period of time also takes anxity and depression away.It doesnt work 24/7 but mearly a bandaid. and if everyone heard the things i hear they would need a day off also bcause it is unbarible the should ligalize marijuanna in arkansas it makes n e thing better

Wed, 09/22/2010 - 4:02pm Permalink
Retired Teacher (not verified)

To Anonymous and Anonymous,


I think what Anonymous meant was that without the choice of marijuana a patient is left with pharmaceuticals if they choose NOT to break the law. That is the case with me. I have a birth defect, and have had surgeries since third grade. I'm on my last artificial hip. I don't have enough bone for another. I will be on opiate pain killers the rest of my life (my Dr. says). I'm still in pain, but so far, if I say I'm in pain, I get stronger narcotics. I'm on Oxycodone. I'm still in pain, but I don't want to take stronger drugs. I had a license for medical marijuana in CO, and it helped. I was able to wean down to half the amount of a weaker pain killer there. I had to move back here because my rent house was damaged in the flood about 2-3 years ago. I can't afford rent there, and pay to fix the house here, so I moved back. I've got the house fixed now, and have a family I trust to be great long-term renters, but now CO doesn't have medical marijuana. It's just legal for everyone. I'm not comfortable with that. The president said he would not arrest patients using marijuana under a Dr. supervision. If it is just legal, there is no Dr. I'm afraid I'd be open to arrest, even though the Dr. says if it helps me as much as it does, I should be using it. I won't because I don't want to get arrested. I know many people in AR who smoke marijuana, just not me. Even though I have a license, it is for another state, and CO doesn't even have medical anymore. I'm now ready to move, but I don't know where. I have friends and family in CO and AR. I may as well stay in AR, but that means taking narcotics. You eventually build up a tolerance, not because I'm a "junkie" but because that is how the human body reacts to opiates. If I could just have a small medicine bottle of marijuana a month, it would get me through the really bad days, and let me get out of bed and do some light housework. All I can do now is try to sleep through the bad days. Not much of a life. It is depressing, and my family says I'm different. They liked me better when I used marijuana. At least I was able to be happy, get up and function, laugh, and be fun to be around. Marijuana doesn't make you a junkie. Heroin does. I don't think either of us pain patients are talking about that. Marijuana gives a choice other than narcotics. It worked for me. I'm not going to say it works the same for everyone, but neither do other prescription drugs. I just saw a commercial for a psoriases medication that has a side effect of LEUKEMIA!!! In the long list they rattle off at the end- CANCER! So do I want psoriases...or LEUKEMIA? hmmm. Do I want marijuana, or increasingly addicted to ever stronger narcotics. BTW, marijuana helped me grow bone. I was 51. That is when you lose bone, and the last hip replacement destroyed bone and tissue. I was 36 when I got that one. So it boils down to choices. Or the freedom to legally make a choice I'm not legally allowed to make. Maybe I'll just go for the leukemia.

Fri, 01/11/2013 - 4:31am Permalink
dkg (not verified)

I am 65 years old and actually really have never done marijuanna, barely smoked regular cigarettes, but I do wish marijuanna was legalized even for recreation. Cops waste way too much of our tax dollars arresting people for marijuanna. People are so stressed out from friggin "life's" demands. People need this to help relax their minds and bodies. Much better than drinking hard liquor - which can make some people VERY violent.

Now, Arkansas reps, get marijuanna legalized - NOW - TODAY.

Sun, 08/26/2018 - 11:11pm Permalink

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