MAYBE A FIERY DEBATE? Johnny Cash proposed to represent Arkansas in statuary hall.

Here come new legislative proposals, including one to expand the conditions that qualify someone to use medical marijuana and another to replace existing Arkansas statues in the Hall of Statuary in Washington with a famous former doper better known for his music, Johnny Cash, and civil rights leader Daisy Bates.

* MARIJUANA: Rep. Doug House has introduced legislation to expand qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Specifically:

adiposis dolorosa or Dercum’s Disease, anorexia, Arnold-Chiari malformation, asthma, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, bulimia, causalgia, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, chronic insomnia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, complex regional pain, syndrome Type I and Type II, dystonia, emphysema, fibrous dysplasia, general anxiety disorder, hydrocephalus, hydromyelia, interstitial cystitis, lupus, migraine, myasthenia gravis, myoclonus, nail-patella syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Parkinson’s Disease, posterior lateral sclerosis, post6 concussion syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, residual limb and phantom pain, restless leg syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia, spinal cord injury or disease including without limitation arachnoiditis, syringomyelia, Tarlov cysts, traumatic brain injury, or the treatment of these conditions;

The legislation strikes glaucoma from the covered list.

* STATUES: This could become the Confederate flag debate of 2019. Republicans want to jerk the statues of Uriah Rose, a famed lawyer, and James Clarke, a former governor and senator, from the Hall of Statuary in Washington. Sen. David Wallace of Leachville suggests replacing them with Arkansas natives Johnny Cash and Daisy Bates. Johnny Cash was born and finished high school in Arkansas before moving on to a fabled musical career. Bates spent most of her life in Arkansas and won fame for leadership of the NAACP during the Little Rock school crisis and as the adult face of the desegregation of Central High by nine black students. Her life and times were not without some controversy.


There are many worthy Arkansans for consideration, including a former president of the United States (ineligible because he’s still living), the creator of one of the world’s biggest fortunes, the namesake of a world-influencing scholarship program, athletic heroes and more.

States designate representatives in the statuary hall. They must have been citizens of the state (bringing up a point of contention for those who fled)  and “illustrious for their historic renown, or for distinguished civil or military service, whom Arkansas deems to be worthy of this national commemoration;”


Let’s debate.

The mention of marijuana and Johnny Cash puts me in mind of “Sunday Morning  Coming Down.”