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Mike Huckabee, family values group warn Arkansans against voting to legalize marijuana

Arkansas Capitol
Arkansas flag flying high beside the Arkansas state Capitol, front exterior, in Little Rock, Arkansas. |

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has joined an effort to stop the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arkansas through a ballot measure to be voted on next month. 

Huckabee, a Republican whose daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is the GOP nominee in the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election, recently appeared in a video produced by the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee advocating against the passage of Issue 4.

Issue 4 would “authorize the possession, personal use and conception of cannabis by adults, to authorize the cultivation and sale of cannabis by licensed commercial facilities, and to provide for the regulation of those facilities,” if passed.

Huckabee asserted that states that have already legalized marijuana have seen an “uptick in vehicular accidents and workplace issues, where people show up for work stoned.”

Characterizing Issue 4 as a “disastrous proposal,” the former governor rejected the claim that “our state and our citizens and especially our children are going to be better off for somehow making recreational drugs part of their daily life.” 

The AFCAC, a nonprofit organization created to “promote, protect, and strengthen traditional family values in the political arena,” is among the leading opponents of Issue 4.

The advocacy group prepared a brief for pastors, which argues that marijuana use directly contradicts the teachings of Christianity. It contains a reference to Galatians 5:22-23, which extols the virtue of self-control.

“The whole purpose of consuming ‘recreational’ marijuana is to get high. The Bible has numerous warnings against drunkenness. Being filled with the Spirit leads to more self-control, but using marijuana leads to less self-control and a loss of inhibitions,” stated the brief.

“Marijuana clouds our ability to perceive the world clearly, and it dulls our sense of urgency about what the disciples of Christ should be doing. It clouds a person’s senses and makes it more difficult for them to see the need for Christ.” 

In a separate document, the group provided statistics from Colorado, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 via a referendum on Amendment 64. Specifically, the paper shows that marijuana use has played a role in one in four road deaths in Colorado and that child suicide rates increased by 140% after it was legalized.

In another video produced by the AFCAC, the group addressed how Issue 4’s passage could harm children. One statistic noted, “Among children who know their parents use or have used marijuana, 72% have used marijuana themselves.” 

“In states where marijuana is legal, 1 out of 8 children report monthly use,” read an additional statistic.

The National Council of State Legislatures has identified the 19 states that have legalized recreational marijuana as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

A September 2022 poll conducted by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College revealed that 58.5% of Arkansas voters surveyed planned to vote to approve Issue 4, while 29% indicated that they intended to vote against it. The remaining 12.5% were undecided.  

Arkansas is not the only state where voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on legalizing marijuana this fall.

Similar referendums will appear on the ballot in Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. Recently, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

North Carolina native the Rev. Franklin Graham declared his opposition to Cooper's efforts in a tweet published Monday.

“Some politicians are supporting the legalization of drugs,” he said. “I can’t see how society benefits from this — I only see more harm done to communities and families. I pray that voters will turn their backs on politicians who want to drag the U.S. into the drug pit.” 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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