LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — Medical marijuana is already legalized in the state of Arkansas but now several groups are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana.
The Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment is a proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
It would allow anyone who is 21 and over to use, process, grow, transport and sell marijuana along with marijuana products.
Arkansas True Grass is for recreational marijuana. They’ve collected over 10,000 signatures to try and get recreational marijuana on the November ballot.
They say recreational marijuana can help reduce crime and people will have individual rights.
But organizations like Family Council in Little Rock are against recreational marijuana.
They say Arkansans already have medical marijuana and it will bring problems to children and drug dealers.
Recreational marijuana is illegal in the state of Arkansas, but the group “Arkansas True Grass” hoping to change that.
“We want to free the people and the plant. We believe people should not be in prison or jail over a plant,” Briana Boling with Arkansas True Grass said.
But not everyone agrees.
“well Arkansas already has medical marijuana and people who have certain medical conditions can get a card and they can use marijuana any way they want too,” Jerry Cox with Family Council said.
The amendment would release marijuana offenders from jail or prison and expunge their criminal records.
“A lot of times that what’s prosecutors get people on they can’t get them on what crime they’re really looking for so they go after them with the marijuana and it’s putting dads in prison it’s creating homelessness in our population,” Bill Barger said.
Family Council says releasing people from jail or prison is concerning.
“it’s extremely concerning because what does that say to our society our children those who are trying to live the law what does it say if you bring recreational marijuana into our society. What does that do to us,” Cox said.
If recreational marijuana is legalized, Bill Barger says the money would go to the general fund.
“Rather than pay more cops to chase people, and keep more people in prison we tax revenue from marijuana,” he said.
“Well if we are going to rely on marijuana to fund our government that’s a pretty sad day. We don’t need to be doing that we don’t need to be encouraging people to smoke weed so we can get more tax dollars that’s foolish,” Cox said.
Family Council says the amendment would make marijuana easier to obtain than tobacco products.
“Kids can get their hands on it and if it’s legal they must think it’s okay to use it. It sends a bad message all the way around,” he said.
“If everyone is following the law and it was to pass. It would end the black market and keep it out of the hands of children,” Briana Boling said.
The group, Arkansas True Grass and any other groups hoping to legalize marijuana must have 90,000 signatures by July 03, 2020
To read more about the amendment, how much a license would cost if it passes and how it would be regulated, click here.