Riff Raff: Ironically, medical marijuana is not a valid prescription for incompetence

by Michael Tilley (mtilley@talkbusiness.net) 505 views 

Christians may consider sending their thoughts and prayers to fix the LSU football coach’s mouth. His speech seems to be a series of consonants, puffs and grunts, mixed with the words and phrases “ball,” “fans,” “turd clowns” (maybe touchdowns?), and “Go Tigers.” Might have been able to understand Coach O if using some of that medical marijuana what ain’t yet available.

• Been a lot of analysis about the 2018 general election. Smart people have said smart things about demographics and turnout and what it all means for 2020. Being just a farm boy from Johnson County there ain’t anything clever or insightful I can add, except to remind y’all the election marked two years since Arkansas voters approved medical marijuana.

Two damn years.

Two years and nary a THC product is legally available in Arkansas for folks with certain medical conditions. Growing frustration over the delay, which I argue is perfectly fine for the folks in charge who don’t approve of medical marijuana, gives a whole new meaning to “Reefer Madness.”

Television pundits on election night were talking about blue waves and red waves. How about a green wave? Be nice to say, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,” but it would still risk a trip to the pokey. If these Arkansas officials had been in charge of the moon landing, they’d still be working to select Mercury program astronauts. The first person on the moon would be an Armstrong great grandkid. If they were in charge of locating the Titanic, they would have begun the search in Montana. They’d be searching Lake Michigan for Earhart.

The number of countries and states legalizing some form of marijuana use grows each year. The whole dang country of Canada has legalized weed. Michigan, Arkansas’ sister state, just legalized recreational weed. Soon, the only two places without marijuana sales of any sort will be Arkansas and the International Space Station.

Yep, two years ago 585,030 Arkansas (53.11%) said yes to lighting up or baking in to ease the pain, reduce the anxiety, control the nausea of chemo and address a host of other legitimate medical purposes. Imagine this was a bill to rehab interstates, and two years later not one bid had been let. Not one yard of concrete poured. Not one orange barrel was taken off the trailer. There would be legislative hearings. Lawsuits. Heads would have rolled. There would be legislative and maybe voter initiated proposals to rejigger the Highway Commission.

Speaking of marijuana and the moon, if I ever receive a license for one of those dispensaries (which would truly reflect a judgment failure among Arkansas officials), it would be called “Tranquility Base.” And I’d send a free starter kit to that LSU coach.

• They have a run off for mayor in Little Rock. Little Rock voters will decide between Baker Kurrus and Frank Scott Jr. in a Dec. 4 election. Scott captured 37% of the general election vote, with Kurrus second at 29%, and Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, in third with 28%.

Scott, a banker and a former Arkansas Highway Commissioner, is considered the front runner, but anything can happen in these one-off runoff elections. If he were to win, Arkansas’ two largest cities would have African-American mayors. Rep. George McGill, D-Fort Smith, will become the Fort Smith mayor in January.

Am not endorsing Scott. Kurrus may be the better choice. I don’t know. But having Scott and McGill as mayors of the state’s two largest cities – at least until the next Census when Fort Smith falls to third or fourth or fifth place – is an interesting possibility for such a blue state. But maybe not considering Arkansas blue voters approved expanded gambling and overwhelmingly approved a significant minimum wage increase. Two years ago, they approved medical marijuana. We like the Bible, rolling the dice, helpful herb, and, maybe, minority mayors.

• U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., can’t afford a D.C. apartment. At least not until she begins to collect her $174,000 congressional salary. Median rent for a D.C. apartment is $2,700 a month.

“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” Ocasio-Cortez, 29, the youngest person ever elected to Congress, recently told reporters. “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January,”

Before deciding to run for Congress, her primary job was working as a bartender.

And before your politics are triggered, please know this isn’t about red or blue. One doesn’t have to agree with her politics to find some appreciation, some understanding, in her reality. Wonder what kind of Congress we might have if we elected more folks who live paycheck to paycheck?

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