Currently, marijuana laws in that state of Arkansas come with some of the harshest punishments in the nation. If a person is caught in possession of any amount of cannabis less than 4 ounces, he or she can be sentenced to one year in jail, and be fined up to $2,500. Multiple marijuana possession arrests can even result in a felony record, up to $6,000 in fines, and six years in prison.
A pastor named Fred Porter, Vice President of the Citizen’s Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana in Hot Springs, Arkansas is leading the campaign to reform marijuana laws in the state with the Arkansas Hemp and Marijuana Initiative. Porter explained to KATV,
“We want it regulated. We want it made available, and we think we have the very best amendment out there to do that.”
Under the Arkansas Hemp and Marijuana Initiative, cultivation, production, distribution, sale, purchase, possession and use of marijuana would be legalized for adults aged twenty-one years and older, and home grow operations would be limited to thirty-six plants.
When explaining why he supports marijuana legalization so strongly, Porter cited the positive effects seen in Colorado’s economy, and referenced the cash crop hemp would become for Arkansas farmers.
Porter also wants to legalize marijuana in his home state because of the personal experience he has with cannabis oil treatments for his stage-four prostate cancer. He has been illegally obtaining and using cannabis oil and reports seeing positive results from the treatments. His only complaint is the high cost of this natural medicine, and the fact that he, technically, commits a criminal act every time he uses it. If it was legal and regulated in Arkansas, he would be able to obtain it more easily and at a lower price.
Although Porter says he may not live to see the day marijuana is legalized in Arkansas, he is going to advocate for it as long as he is able. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office already approved the amendment and title wording. Now the organization must play the waiting game for petition instructions from the office of the Secretary of State. They anticipate the amendment being on the ballot in 2016.
photo credit: stray-kat