Marijuana Laws in Arkansas
There are states which have a lenient approach to marijuana use and possession and then there are other states that are much more strident. Arkansas falls into the latter category. Currently, the state does not allow for any medical marijuana use. Additionally, if you are found to be in possession of an amount of marijuana that is greater than one ounce or 28 grams it is assumed by the law that you intend to sell that pot and you are charged and convicted accordingly.
Just because you might have under one ounce of marijuana in your possession doesn’t mean you’ll be off the hook. According to Arkansas marijuana laws, you can still be prosecuted for possessing even a small amount of marijuana.
Even with that strict approach, the DEA estimates that there is an annual Arkansas marijuana crop yield that is worth up to one billion dollars. The Department of Justice finds that there are around 2,000 arrests for the possession, selling and growing of marijuana in Arkansas.
Arkansas Marijuana Penalties
The first time a person in Arkansas is arrested, charged and convicted with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana it is considered a misdemeanor. This could result in a jail sentence of up to one year plus a $1,000 fine. For a second conviction of less than an ounce, the charge becomes a felony. This carries with is up to six years in jail and a $10,000 fine. For a third time conviction, you’re still in felony territory, but now you’re looking at anywhere between 3 to 10 years in jail with a $10,000 fine. That’s all for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Once you have been arrested with more than an ounce of marijuana in Arkansas, you are presumed to be selling or trafficking. An amount that is more than one ounce but less then ten pounds is considered a felony and carries a possible jail sentence of 4 to 10 years with a $25,000 fine. Being caught with ten to one-hundred pounds of marijuana in Arkansas can yield anywhere from five to 20 years in prison with a $50,000 fine. With over ten pounds of marijuana you’re looking at six to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
If you are arrested with any amount of marijuana above a single ounce within 1,000 feet of a school there will be additional penalties tacked onto your conviction. This will mean a mandatory five extra years added to your sentence.
Additional Arkansas Marijuana Penalties
Any marijuana conviction in Arkansas results in a six month license suspension. You can also be charged with a misdemeanor and face one year in jail if you are in possession of any thing that is considered marijuana paraphernalia. When you have a felony conviction with the added possession of paraphernalia charge, you can expect up to 3 to 10 years being added to your sentence.
For first time offenders, Arkansas allows for conditional release. This will require some form of probationary period where the offender might be subjected to drug testing or random visits by parole officers.