Is Cannabis Legal in Arkansas 2023?

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Is Cannabis Legal in Arkansas 2023?

Cannabis has been made legal for recreational or medicinal purposes in several states around the country. This makes it important for anyone who is thinking about using cannabis to understand when it is legal and when it is not. 

But is cannabis legal in Arkansas in 2023? Each state has its own specific laws regarding the use of marijuana, so let’s explore your rights in Arkansas.

What Is the Current Cannabis Law in Marijuana?

In general, medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas. The legislation for medical marijuana in Arkansas dates back to 2006. This is when residents of the town of Eureka Springs pass a voter initiative to make marijuana crime police enforcement a very low priority. 

Other cities in Arkansas followed with related voter initiatives. In 2012, lawmakers made the first attempt to legalize medical marijuana at the state level. This issue made it to the statewide ballot but was defeated at election time. In 2016, Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas medical marijuana amendment which finally legalized medical marijuana. 

So long as a patient had a doctor's approval, they would be able to have a qualifying condition to obtain and use medical marijuana. Further, the law also went on to provide licensing for state dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The Arkansas Department of Health shares that there are over 82,000 medical marijuana ID cards in that state and there are significant sales of around half a million dollars every single day throughout Arkansas.

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  • What Are the Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Arkansas?

    A doctor's recommendation must be used in order to meet the grounds for a qualifying condition. Some examples include things, such as:

    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Glaucoma cancer
    • Severe arthritis
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Hepatitis C
    • Positive HIV or AIDS status
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Tourette Syndrome
    • Crohn's disease
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures
    • Muscle spasms

    If you have an additional medical condition that you wish to be considered for inclusion on this list, you can submit it to the Department of Health for the petition. That petition will be evaluated and then denied or approved within 120 days of the submission.

  • Where Can I Use Medical Marijuana if Approved?

    Marijuana consumption is regulated by the state, and it is prohibited in public spaces, such as school grounds, school buses, youth centers, and correctional facilities. You cannot consume marijuana in your car or any private residence that is used to provide licensed childcare services.

  • Is Marijuana Legal Recreationally in Arkansas?

    You may be curious about whether Arkansas marijuana laws allow for recreational uses. Knowing this can help prevent you from getting in trouble with the authorities, either for possessing too much marijuana beyond the legal limit or in the event that it was used and then you drove. 

    If you do not have a medical marijuana card, be aware that recreational marijuana is illegal in Arkansas and possession of marijuana can lead to stiff penalties. 

    Without a medical card, possession of fewer than 110 grams or four ounces is considered a Class A misdemeanor. This carries penalties such as up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. If you already have two existing convictions for recreational marijuana, possession of 28 grams or one ounce is considered a Class D felony. This carries much more substantial penalties, with up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000. First-time offenders who are caught with 110 grams or fewer for up to four ounces face a fine of up to $2,500, but this can still carry significant consequences such as prison time of up to a year and mandatory suspension of your driver's license for six months.

    Researching whether certain amounts of marijuana are legal in Arkansas is important for anyone thinking about growing or using this in the near future. Cannabis laws can and do change, but it's up to you to familiarize yourself with them to avoid any heavy consequences. Otherwise, you might need to hire a marijuana criminal defense lawyer to handle your case. 

  • What About Manufacture Laws?

    Manufacturing 14 g or less of cannabis/marijuana is a class A misdemeanor that carries fines as high as 2,500 and a jail term of up to one year. If a person is caught manufacturing between 14 g and four maximum ounces of marijuana, this is considered a Class D Felony in Arkansas. This carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 6 years in prison. It's a class C felony to manufacture between four ounces and 25 pounds of marijuana, which comes with penalties like fines up to $10,000 and a mandatory three-year minimum sentence in jail. Class B felonies can be charged when a person manufactures between 25 pounds and 100 pounds of marijuana, which comes with a mandatory five-year minimum in jail that can be extended up to 20 years along with fines up to $15,000. If you are caught making 100 pounds of marijuana or more, expect to be charged with a Class A felony with up to 30 years in prison that begins with a mandatory six-year stay and fines up to $15,000. 

  • John Morgan: A Champion for Legalization

    John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, America’s largest personal injury law firm, initially became involved in the campaign to legalize marijuana because of his brother Tim Morgan, who was severely injured in an accident. Through Tim’s rehabilitation, John was able to witness marijuana’s ability to alleviate the pains and spasms Tim was experiencing when other medications failed to provide relief. Since then, he’s been a tireless advocate for legalization.

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