Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, today announced his support for Issue 6, the constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions.
That will sharply differentiate Eldridge from Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, who is firmly among the lockstep brigade of Republican politicians opposing both medical marijuana measures proposed this year. The other was disqualified from the ballot today by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Eldridge is a former U.S. attorney. His release:
Acknowledging the work done by those backing Issue 7, Eldridge said he feels Issue 6 is a responsible medical marijuana program for the state of Arkansas.
“As a prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney, I worked alongside law enforcement to fight drug-trafficking and to get drug dealers off the streets,” said Eldridge. “No one has been more dedicated to getting dangerous drugs out of our communities, but even I see the real difference between the work I did fighting drug-trafficking and allowing the development of a responsible medical marijuana program in Arkansas and nationally, and that is why I will be voting for Issue 6 on the ballot this year. I will add that I appreciate the hard work done by those backing Issue 7. They also clearly share a belief that marijuana should be available for medicinal purposes for people with cancer and other conditions, and, despite the court’s decision, I applaud the work of all parties involved in all efforts to achieve this goal.”
“My experience as a prosecutor has shown me that we can fight the spread of illegal drugs and grant access to medical marijuana for people like my stepmother, who passed away from a recurrence of breast cancer in 2010,” said Eldridge. “There are more serious offenses we should be focusing on with law enforcement, including large scale drug trafficking involving methamphetamine, heroin, prescription drugs, and cocaine.”
Eldridge is apparently the only statewide candidate or elected official supporting medical marijuana, which has generally enjoyed majority support in public opinion polls. Eldridge noted that Boozman had voted against a measure to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana for veterans in states where it had been legalized, about half those in the U.S.
“This is one of several votes Sen. Boozman has cast against the interest of our veterans,” Eldridge said.