Is a college a school?

Is a college a school?

I find it quite amusing, Ralph, just how this group of socalled professionals have botched their efforts to implement Arkansas’ medical marijuana initiative that voters gladly endorsed a long while back.

While we’ve sat back and watched how this endeavor has run its course through the Arkansas Supreme Court and how this state-appointed commission is now hiring an outside consulting firm to score the many applicants that want to set up shop to sell pot to our fellow Arkansans afflicted with certain diseases we are now being told that two of the five approved cultivators may be in violation of the rules regarding proximity to public schools.

The latest squabble seems to be focused on the state’s definition of “school”, which according to Arkansas Code “school’ means a facility or building operated by a public school district; or a private entity including parochial schools providing preschool, elementary, or secondary education but does not include post-secondary institutions of higher education, community colleges, or the residences of students being home schooled.

As I pointed out Ralph, the future of two of Arkansas’ first medical marijuana growing facilities hinges on the clear definition of “school”.

So seems Ralph if ASU-Newport is determined to be a school, the two facilities would likely be in violation of the constitutional prohibition on growing medical cannabis within 3,000 feet of a church, daycare or school.

As I would have expected, there are a bunch of esteemed lawyers champing at the bit to get in on this action, not only for the money to be pocketed but also for the fame and glory of being wrapped up in this controversial mess. If anyone is best suited to chime in on this latest squabble it is you based on your educational credentials as well as the fact that your wife is part of the West Memphis educational system.

Allow me to rely upon my favorite source when it comes to defining what something means and that is Merriam-Webster. So then, Merriam-Webster defines school as an organization that provides instruction; such as: A- an institution for the teaching of children B- a college, university C- an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university.

Lawyers questioning the ASU-Newport issue are of the opinion the words in the constitution should be interpreted by their “plain and ordinary meaning,” citing a 2016 Arkansas Supreme Court opinion, and I certainly concur.

Nevertheless Ralph, when politicians stick their twocents in on something it is anyone’s guess as to how they define things which is usually determined on what direction the political winds are blowing.

The defining of “school” to these politicians may be totally different that the “plain and ordinary meaning.”

Come on Ralph, you and I both know that a school is an institution of learning regardless of whether it be kindergarten or a place where students are attempting to earn a college degree. Let’s not split hairs here and call a spade a spade.

Furthermore Ralph, ASU-Newport offers course work for local high school students and I am told several hundred high school students attend a handful of technical education courses there each semester.

Now I understand that these politicians of ours in Little Rock are turning to none other that our Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to weigh in on the matter, which I predict will support the state’s definition of “school”.

Again, let me say Ralph, this is just another wrinkle in this ridiculous botched process of the state’s mediocre attempt to set up shop to cultivate and sell marijuana to Arkansans said to be ailing from certain diseases.

If this wasn’t so serious it would almost be laughable wouldn’t you agree Ralph?

By Michael Coulter

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