March 21, 2023

State enterprise leaders be a part of Governor in opposing leisure marijuana

Arkansas enterprise leaders joined Gov. Asa Hutchinson Monday (Oct. 31) in calling for voters to oppose Challenge 4, the final election poll measure that may legalize grownup use hashish and see the state be a part of 19 different states with authorized leisure use.

At a information convention on the headquarters of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock, the business representatives mentioned legalizing leisure marijuana would compound issues for workforce recruitment and security.

Challenge 4 supporters mentioned the arguments have been no completely different than when medical marijuana was proposed in 2016, and that Arkansas companies haven’t suffered since its passage.

Leaders from the trucking, building and agricultural industries joined Hutchinson in condemning the proposal.

“It’s a nightmare for the business, for the individuals now we have to work on the highways and buildings across the state,” mentioned Haskell Dickinson, former chairman of the Related Normal Contractors of Arkansas. “We could have a problem figuring out who can come to work… we don’t know find out how to deal with it and nobody else does both.”

“Challenge 4 threatens the honest progress of enterprise, by enriching marijuana monopolies and hamstringing industries like trucking which have long-served as the muse for our state’s economic system,” mentioned Shannon Newton, President of the Arkansas Trucking Affiliation.

Citing a scarcity of almost 78,000 truck drivers nationwide and as many as 2,400 in Arkansas, Newton added that allowing leisure marijuana would make it even more durable to recruit drivers to an business that already has a restricted pool of candidates.

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“The potential adverse affect on our business’s capability to recruit and retain the woefully-needed skilled drivers to proceed to ship the usual of dwelling that all of us take pleasure in, must be apparent,” she added.

Newton cited statistics from Nevada and Washington that confirmed 162% and 190% will increase in employees testing optimistic for marijuana lately since legalization occurred in these states.

Zook additionally emphasised that workforce points could be severely challenged, and he famous that legalization would drive employees compensation insurance coverage increased for companies. Arkansas has a number of the lowest employees compensation charges within the nation and has had many years of stability on this entrance.

“This measure would compound this downside making it almost unattainable to have a protected office,” Zook mentioned. “The query to ask is: would we actually be higher off as a state if we go this?”

Robert McLarty, marketing campaign director for Challenge 4, mentioned the workforce arguments introduced on the information convention have been made earlier than and haven’t borne out in actuality.

“With all due respect to the Governor, Reality: 3 of the 5 prime manufacturing states within the nation have adult-use hashish or medical hashish or each,” he mentioned. “Like an previous scare tactic of the Halloween sequel, immediately’s press convention repeats yesterday’s claims that the sky will fall. It didn’t fall in 2016, and it gained’t fall as soon as Arkansas voters go Challenge 4.”

The Arkansas Farm Bureau additionally joined Hutchinson on the governor’s press convention. Stanley Hill, vice chairman for Public Affairs & Authorities Relations, mentioned opposing marijuana legalization has been a long-standing Farm Bureau coverage that originated from its 1000’s of members.

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“The membership of Farm Bureau determines the coverage that we are going to champion or attempt to defeat,” he mentioned. “Our management determined we should always make an all-out dedication to see it defeated.”

Farm Bureau has made a statewide radio purchase to run advertisements in opposition to Challenge 4.

The poll query committee that helps Challenge 4, Accountable Development Arkansas, has spent a number of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to advocate for its passage on tv and radio. One other poll query committee that opposes Challenge 4, Protected and Safe Communities, has additionally spent hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to defeat the measure.

A Speak Enterprise & Politics-Hendrix School Ballot in mid-October confirmed the race has tightened significantly in latest weeks. 50.5% supported Challenge 4, whereas 43% opposed. The remaining 6.5% have been undecided.

Gov. Hutchinson closed the press convention by answering a reporter’s query if legalized marijuana would current any completely different problem than alcohol within the office.

“You can also make some comparisons between the 2. In the event you settle for that argument, you might have two decisions,” the governor mentioned. “Let’s scale back the variety of dangerous substances that would impair our workforce. It’s so simple as that to me.”