27 January 2017
THV 11 Reports
Thursday, Senator Jason Rapert filed a bill in the Arkansas Senate that would delay legalizing medical marijuana until marijuana was legalized under federal law.
In November 2016, voters passed Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, with a 53.11 percent voting for the amendment.
Rapert released a statement detailing why he decided to file the bill. His main contention with the amendment was that marijuana is illegal under federal law. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 considers marijuana a Schedule I drug which claims it would have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
“When I took office I swore an oath to uphold the laws of the United States and the state of Arkansas. I do not intend to break my oath,” Rapert said in the statement.
Rapert said that he’s for “the will of the people in Arkansas being heard,” but is not up for violating federal law when it comes to medical marijuana. While he will pursue proper medical value of marijuana when it becomes legal, Rapert said he will not support those he said are using medical marijuana as a “charade for easy access.”
“We should have no laws at all if they are not going to be respected,” said Rapert in regards to violating federal law.
Rapert also believes voters were duped into voting for Issue 6. He said that “big money lobbyists” have “cloaked their billion dollar marijuana business” to try and pass it off as medical marijuana.
Rapert’s proposed bill, SB238, has been referred to Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor.
The Bill As Presented http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Bills/SB238.pdf