A recreational marijuana proposal in Arkansas has finally been given the green light by the state Attorney General.
Proponents of the measure now have to gather 78,133 signatures to get it on the November state ballot.
According to the approved Ballot Title language, the bill would legalize the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis in the state. The General Assembly would be tasked with setting regulations and limits as well as setting up a licensing structure for legal recreational cannabis sales. The bill also outright legalizeds hemp cultivation and production. If approved in November, the law would go into effect on 4/20 in 2015.
Below is the entire official ballot title:
An amendment proposed by the people to the Arkansas Constitution to provide, effective April 20, 2015, that the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sale, possession and use of the cannabis plant (genus cannabis) and all products derived from the cannabis plant (genus cannabis) are lawful in every geographic area of each and every county of this state; that, for purposes of this amendment, “hemp” is defined as any part of the cannabis plant (genus cannabis), living or not, containing one percent or less, by dry weight, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC); that, for purposes of this amendment,” cannabis” is defined as any part of the cannabis plant (genus cannabis), living or not, containing greater than one percent, by dry weight, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC); that the listed activities relating to “cannabis” devoted to personal, industrial or commercial use may be regulated but not prohibited by the General Assembly’ and that the listed activities relating to “hemp” devoted to personal, industrial or commercial use may be regulated but not prohibited, subject to the condition that the number of plants cultivated or the products derived from manufacturing shall not be limited or prohibited by the General Assembly. Preemptive federal law will remain in effect unless altered by Congress.
This is the second attempt this year at getting the bill off the ground. Back in March the state AG’s office refused to okay the bill, claiming the wording was too vague. This is not Reed’s first time to try and legalize in Arkansas. A similar proposal was shot down last year.
Currently, possession of four ounces or less in Arkansas is a misdemeanor charge with up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Get caught a second time with that amount, and it’s a felony charge with up to 6 years and $10,000 to the state. Cultivation penalties fall under possession or possession with intent to distribute, which could mean up to 30 years in the state penitentiary when you start talking about pounds of pot.
For more information, visit the Arkansans for Medical Cannabis Facebook page (Editor’s note: They don’t have an actual website, which they really should have if they are serious about this).