Is Medical Marijuana Finally Coming to the South?

“I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again” – Bill Clinton, March 29, 1992

It was twenty years ago when a younger Bill Clinton made that comical comment. He was a presidential candidate from Arkansas at the time, and ironically enough, it wasn’t in his home county of Hempstead where he admittedly took the virgin tokes. Rather, it was in England while studying abroad at Oxford University. Since then, both Bill Clinton and his native state have come a long way–the former became a two-term president, and the latter is now poised to become the first state in the South to successfully pass a medical marijuana ballot initiative.

Officially known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (or Issue 5), the measure would allow citizens who’ve been issued cards by the state’s health department to buy and possess marijuana for medical purposes. Qualifying patients could either grow up to six cannabis plants themselves or purchase marijuana at state approved dispensaries. Recent polls show a tossup when it comes to support over the measure, with prohibitionists trailing cannabis reformers by just a slight margin, meaning the current undecided voters will be the decision makers come November 6th.

As a Southerner and as a federal-drug-enforcement-agent-turned-medical-marijuana-legalization-advocate, I am grateful to Arkansans for Compassionate Care for getting this initiative on the ballot, especially considering the amount of hoops they had to jump through to make it happen. Unfortunately, this region is often one of the last places to embrace change, but all it takes is one state to get the ball rolling and motivate the rest of the region.

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.