LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- A Colorado drug task force sergeant visited Arkansas Friday, telling the Arkansas Family Council that legalizing any form of marijuana would be a bad idea for the state, which includes medical marijuana.
With 16-years of experience in the Denver drug task force, Sergeant Jim Gerhardt has watched as the marijuana movement has taken over in Colorado. He's against this problem getting any worse for Colorado, but advocates for medicinal marijuana in Arkansas tell us that his complaint doesn't hold weight against their mission.
From the start of medicinal marijuana to now recreational use, Sgt. Gerhardt has been in law enforcement through it all.
"I would strongly discourage other states to not follow the path Colorado's taken," he told members of Arkansas media Friday. "I think that the smartest thing other states can do right now is slow down a little bit."
Gerhardt's opinion stems from a variety of factors Colorado law enforcement continue to deal with, like driving fatalities and school expulsion, saying any use of marijuana for a state is troubling.
"It's frustrating to be compared to Colorado as well as California because we did not take our initiative off of either one of those states," said Melissa Fults with Arkansans For Compassionate Care.
Fults said her group is solely seeking to legalize medicinal marijuana for those in dire need of it, people with severe medical cases who believe their last resort is using cannabis as a medicine.
"I am not for full legalization; I am for getting patients medicine," Fults continued. "There are patients in this state that are going to have to leave."
After seeing results in Colorado Gerhardt believes continued illegalization of marijuana is the only way to go.
"Because of the abuses, because of kids then getting into these stashes, you have the impact of the schools, people on the roads driving," he added. "At some point you have to say, where does your compassion lie? Does you compassion lie with the sick, or with the rest of the community."
To read full wording of the petition to have medicinal marijuana on the ballot, visit: Http://arcompassion.com/?