It was disappointing to see Governor Asa Hutchinson and state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson oppose a bill to prohibit the smoking of medical marijuana in Arkansas. According to dispatches, a number of other states have already prohibited smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota. Those state still allow medical marijuana; they just don’t allow people to smoke it.
Those states did their research and found some very good reasons. First, according to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, one of the top addiction treatment centers in America, there are more carcinogens in a typical marijuana joint than there are in a cigarette. The public obviously doesn’t know this, or very few people do. There is a widespread understanding that smoking tobacco can cause cancer, but apparently few realize that marijuana is even more dangerous. So when the governor or other legislators say they believe the public voted to allow smoking of medical marijuana, do they really think the public realized it was more harmful to a body’s health to smoke marijuana than to smoke a cigarette?
Marijuana can be taken just as effectively in a pill. Pills also make it easier to control the delivery and the prevention of abuse of marijuana. Use of pills also helps separate the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes from the use for recreational purposes. An example is California, one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana. The Los Angeles Times reported a number of years ago that the city of Los Angeles had more medical marijuana dispensaries than pharmacies. Obviously weed was being used for more than just medicinal purposes. If California had only allowed marijuana pills, how many of those dispensaries would have opened?
If a number of other states have prohibited the smoking of medical