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Bill filed to decriminalize less than 1 ounce of marijuana in Arkansas



On Monday, a bill was filed in the Arkansas Senate that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The bill, SB499, states that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana would result in a penalty fine of $200. Currently, possession of that amount is a Class A misdemeanor in the state. The bill’s lead sponsor is Senator Clarke Tucker.

“I filed this bill because of the people whose lives are permanently changed because they possessed a small amount of marijuana. Whether it’s a veteran suffering from PTSD or a young person who simply made that choice, we shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to prosecute and incarcerate them. These people should also be able to lead full lives where they don’t have to fear being turned down for jobs and housing because of this blemish on their record. This is the right thing to do,” Sen. Tucker said.

Former state representative Charles Blake filed the same bill in 2019.

In November of 2016, Arkansas voters approved making marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, with restrictions.

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