Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday’s statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
In short: “Given the suffering endured by patients with cancer, PTSD, and numerous other conditions, it is frankly a disingenuous and cruel position.”
A statement from the group’s leader, Melissa Fults:
The Arkansas Department of Health will not be voting on our initiative this fall. Rather, the people of Arkansas will determine whether patients who have not found relief from pharmaceutical drugs should, with the approval of their doctors, be able to use medical cannabis instead. We expect that once our initiative passes, the Department will respect the will of the people and take all steps necessary and required to enhance and improve the health of patients in our state.
Health care professionals across this country, including leaders of the Department of Health, are well aware that medical cannabis can help patients suffering with various illnesses. They know the only reason we do not have cannabis-based medicines is because the federal government has been an ongoing barrier to effective research. “Opposing medical cannabis based on a lack of clinical studies is a decades-old ploy used by people who simply don’t like the idea of patients using cannabis. Given the suffering endured by patients with cancer, PTSD, and numerous other conditions, it is frankly a disingenuous and cruel position,” said Melissa Fults.
The Health Department says science hasn’t yet established the medicinal value of marijuana and that synthetic pain killers are available.