In recent years a number of states have taken it upon themselves to legalize marijuana for limited medical uses. Others have expanded their permissible uses of marijuana to recreational pursuits, while other states have maintained a firm stance against any legal use of the substance within the states’ borders. Arkansas voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution several years ago that allows certain patients to obtain marijuana for medical use and to establish dispensaries where such patients can acquire it.
Despite this exception to the state’s general law on marijuana, all uses of marijuana are illegal under the federal laws of the United States. Therefore, while a person may have the right to obtain marijuana for an approved medical purpose within the state, they may still be breaking federal laws when they obtain and use the substance for their medical purpose.
Additionally, individuals who possess, sell, or distribute marijuana within the state and without medical approval violate the laws of Arkansas as well as those of the federal government. A conviction on a marijuana possession charge can land a person in jail for several years and can cost them a significant amount of money in fines.
Marijuana is therefore never legal under federal law and has only a limited window of legality under state law. A marijuana possession or distribution charge can have serious repercussions on a person’s life. When possible it can benefit a person charged with a marijuana crime to discuss their case with a criminal defense professional. Individual case strategies can be developed for men and women whose lives may be derailed by their pending drug charges and legal problems.