TEXARKANA, Ark. — Members of the local law enforcement community met for medical marijuana training Tuesday as city officials consider developing an ordinance that spells out related policy.
Trainers from the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Commission — the agency charged with enforcing medical marijuana business regulations — gave a presentation to police officers and prosecution personnel in the Bi-State Justice Building, one of multiple such meetings they are conducting statewide as legal access to the drug becomes a reality.
News reporters were allowed to observe the beginning of the meeting but were asked to leave before any sensitive information was shared. Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Department Sgt. Rick Cockrell was available to answer questions.
“An ordinance has been written,” Cockrell said about new city law enforcement policy regarding medical marijuana. But City Manager Kenny Haskin said it remains to be seen whether a new ordinance is necessary.
“We are still trying to determine whether we need this ordinance or not. The city attorney is looking at it as we speak. If it is applicable, I will bring it before the board in a few weeks,” Haskin said.
Regardless of whether the city Board of Directors takes formal action, TAPD’s goals are to eliminate any confusion among law enforcement and the public and to establish a consistent set of policies so all citizens are treated equally, Cockrell said.
Some policies are already clear. Medical marijuana patients will have to keep their state registration cards with them at all times, and under no circumstances will taking cannabis across the state line into Texas be tolerated. Current law and policy on driving while intoxicated will apply to medical marijuana users, Cockrell said.
State law also restricts patients’ use of medical marijuana. A doctor must certify that a patient has one of about 20 qualifying medical