Arkansas has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the nation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking weed is no big deal. Recreational marijuana in Arkansas is illegal. Your attitude towards whether recreational pot should be legal is irrelevant. If you are convicted of possessing or using marijuana in Arkansas without a medical ID, then you will face penalties, including jail time and hefty fines. Contact our office today to speak with an attorney if you have been charged with possessing or selling marijuana.
Can I possess medical marijuana in Arkansas?
In November 2016, voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, (Issue 6) as an amendment to the state constitution. This amendment legalized marijuana for medical use in Arkansas for 17 qualifying conditions and allowed for the establishment and regulation of marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities. While legislators have passed laws since 2016 to change the amendment, none have overturned the amendment or restricted access to medical marijuana.
What are the qualifying conditions to have legal access to medical marijuana in Arkansas?
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, qualifying conditions include: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Tourette syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, PTSD, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease; or a chronic or debilitating disease/medical condition (or its treatment) producing: wasting syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain (that has not responded to medical interventions for more than six months), severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms.
How do patients gain access to medical cannabis and what are the rules?
The Arkansas Department of Health issues medical marijuana registry cards for qualified patients and caregivers. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, as of October 5, 2018, there are 6,171 approved medical marijuana ID cards in Arkansas. If you have doctor’s approval for medical marijuana, you can apply online at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/id-card-apply-online. For questions, you can contact [email protected].
A qualified patient or caregiver cannot purchase more than 2.5oz of usable cannabis in a 14-day period.
An out-of-state visitor who has a medical cannabis card issued in their state of residence for a qualified medical condition in Arkansas can purchase it from an Arkansas dispensary.
For common questions about medical marijuana in Arkansas, visit Medical Marijuana FAQs at the Arkansas Department of Health’s website.
Can I Possess Marijuana in Arkansas if I don’t have a Medical ID Card?
No. As of November 2018, recreational marijuana is not legal in Arkansas.
What is the punishment if I’m caught with marijuana?
Arkansas drug laws allow some discretion by the court. Marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance under Arkansas Law. Possessing less than 4 ounces of marijuana without a medical card is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If a person has four previous misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana, then the subsequent offense is a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if they possess more than 1 ounce but less than 4 ounces. Possessing 4 ounces or more but less than 10 pounds is also a Class D Felony punishable by up to six years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Possession of 10 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds is a Class C Felony punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Possession of 25 pounds or more but less than 100 pounds is a Class B Felony punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. Possession of 100 pounds or more but less than 500 pounds is a Class A Felony punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. There are also enhanced penalties should the State choose to charge you with Possession of Marijuana with Purpose to Deliver.
Possession of 500 pounds or more is considered trafficking, which is a Class Y Felony. The punishment range in Arkansas for a Class Y Felony is 10 to 40 years in prison, or life.
What is the punishment if I’m caught selling marijuana in Arkansas?
If you’re caught selling marijuana, the penalties significantly increase. If you are charged with delivering 14 grams or more but less than four ounces, you’ll be charged with a Class D Felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. If you are charged with delivering 4 ounces or more but less than 25 pounds, you’ll be charged with a Class C Felony punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. If your charged with delivering 25 pounds or more but less than 100 pounds, you’ll be charged with a Class B Felony punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. If you are charged with delivering 100 pounds or more but less than 500 pounds, you’ll be charged with a Class A Felony punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
When Should I Talk to a Lawyer about Marijuana Use in Arkansas?
Laws surrounding marijuana use, either for recreational or medical purposes, change constantly. It’s important to have the most up-to-date information if you or someone you love is being charged with a crime. Speak with an experienced attorney such as Dearmore Law Firm to learn more about Arkansas marijuana laws and how they apply to your situation.