LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On Monday, the Arkansas House of Representatives rejected a proposed bill which would put a ban on medical marijuana edibles.
House Bill 1392, introduced by state Representative Robin Lundstrum (R-Elm Springs), failed by a vote of 52 for and 40 against with 0 voting as present.
State Rep. Douglas House (R-North Little Rock) who once was in favor of such amendments to medical marijuana spoke out against the bill on the House floor. He said that banning edibles would hurt the older population of Arkansas. He has visited states that have medical marijuana and, according to him, not only do the older population prefer edibles when consuming medical marijuana, but sometimes they are unable to intake marijuana in other ways such as smoking.
A passionate plea was also made by state Rep. Tim Lemons (R-Cabot) to vote against the proposed edibles ban. He admitted that he voted against medical marijuana in November, but changed his tune once he saw his wife going through chemotherapy.
Lemons said the pain he sees in the chemotherapy treatment shows a real need for medical marijuana as well as edibles for patients. The legislator also believes that those going through chemotherapy could not manufacture their own edibles due to their health.
"There is a real need for this," Lemons said. "A genuine need."
Earlier in March, the bill's companion in the Arkansas Senate failed. Introduced by state Senator Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch), Senate Bill 333 failed by a vote of 15-11. Stubblefield has stated the move to ban edibles would prevent food or drinks that may be appealing to children.
SB333's vote was expunged shortly after the failed vote, but at this time HB1392's vote has not been expunged.
Several amendments to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment are still working through both the House and Senate. We will keep you updated on their progress in the Arkansas legislature.