Sep 012011
 

ArkansasArkansas: Lawmakers Enact Sentencing Reform Measures, Reduce Pot Possession Penalties

Criminal sentencing reform legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year is now in effect. Senate Bill 750, the Public Safety Improvement Act, intends to reduce the number of non-violent offenders incarcerated statewide by mitigating the sentences for certain low-level drug offenses.

Democrat Gov. Mike Beebe, who strongly backed the measure, signed it into law on March 22, 2011. The law took effect on July 27.

Specific to marijuana law enforcement, the measure amends cannabis penalties so that the possession of up to four ounces of pot is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $1,000 fine. For first-time offenders, the new law states, “[T]he court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, may defer further proceedings and place the defendant on probation for a period of not less than one year.”

Cop With WeedUnder the previous law, the possession of any amount of cannabis above one ounce was a felony offense punishable by between four and ten years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

The new law additionally reduces criminal penalties for the possession of small quantities of marijuana ‘with the intent to deliver’ from a felony offense to a misdemeanor. The law also reduces subsequent marijuana possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Previously, second and third pot possession offenses were categorized as felonies.

Defendants found guilty of violating the state’s marijuana laws will still be subject to the loss of their driver’s license for six-months.

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the Public Safety Improvement Act is available online at:http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2011R/Acts/Act570.pdf.

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About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg and feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • KNOTTY

    Hell Yeah!!!

  • jesse

    This is awesome congratz!!!! Did anyone else get a good lugh at that sign tho?

  • Mary

    i lived there 8 years and am considering returning. This news just makes me more ready!!

  • Clint

    I cant imagine anyone willingly wanting to live in this shit hole.

    • michael

      then get out of this shit hole ….i live in heber springs and have yet to find a better place.