Controversy brews in Arkansas over concealed carry, medical marijuana

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — “I don’t think it’s right that I have to choose, especially if one could help me.”

Nick Yarberry, 31, qualifies for medical marijuana. He’s suffered from glaucoma the past 16 years. But even though he qualifies, he says he can’t get it, KTHV reports.

“This is the last eye drop I can take without surgery, and they passed the medical marijuana thing that’s an option for me, but not unless I want to give up my right to carry a concealed firearm.”

He says he needs a concealed carry license to protect his family and business from the increase in robberies in his area.

“I can either keep my safety of having my concealed or lose my eye sight, and what good is my concealed carry anyway because I won’t be able to use it.”

Medical marijuana is a drug he says is no different than any other prescription drug.

Travis Story with the Medical Marijuana Commission says that this decision is out of their hands.

“We don’t issue the cards — either the concealed carry or the medical marijuana cards.”

He says he hopes the Health Department and ABC will reconsider this rule for patients like Yarberry.

“It’s one of the things that I think needs to be addressed in this situation because if we’re going to allow people to have medical marijuana in Arkansas, I also think there’s a constitutional right to keep in bear arms.”

Story agrees this issue needs to be revisited.

“This entire process is trying to work all those things out, especially in state law and things related to federal law.”