Responsible Growth, Family Council debate recreational marijuana September 26, 2022 By Griffin Coop Jerry Cox of the Family Council and Eddie Armstrong of Responsible Growth Arkansas faced off on KARK’s Capitol View on Sunday, debating the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment. Cox linked recreational marijuana to human trafficking and drug addicts during the 12-minute segment. Armstrong focused on regulation and economic development. Cox, who has formed the Family Council Action Committee to fight the amendment, also argued that the amendment would be an “uncontrollable monopoly for the marijuana industry.” Cox said the amendment was written by the state marijuana industry and would benefit the industry without regulation from the state legislature. “They are going to ride the backs of drug addicts all the way to the bank,” Cox said. Cox added later that “making more drug addicts is bad for Arkansas.” Armstrong, chair of the amendment’s sponsor group Responsible Growth Arkansas, pushed back on many of Cox’s claims and focused on how the amendment will create a regulated recreational marijuana industry. Cox said much of the marijuana sold in recreational marijuana dispensaries is grown by “human-trafficked individuals that are held like slaves to grow this stuff illegally” and sold alongside marijuana grown within the parameters of the state’s regulations. “Hence is why we should regulate it,” Armstrong retorted. Cox said he has asked the state Department of Finance and Administration for a financial impact statement on the tax revenue that will be generated by recreational marijuana but has not yet received one. Armstrong, who touted job growth and economic development, said Responsible Growth will be releasing an economic study. Armstrong did not release any details of the study other than to value the new industry at about $800 million. The amendment was cleared for the ballot last week by the state Supreme Court. Responsible Growth has raised more than $4 million since it formed a year ago. Three opposition groups have formed to fight the amendment and have raised a little more than $2 million from conservative Republicans Ron Cameron and Richard Uihlein. A recent poll by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College found that 58.5% of respondents supported the amendment and 29% opposed it.