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 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.