Marijuana is a drug that is becoming more widely accepted, but it is one that is still considered illegal by the federal government. In Arkansas, you can face criminal charges for having marijuana in your possession if you don’t have the drug for medicinal purposes and in a manner that complies with Issue 6; however, this charge isn’t associated with the harsh penalties of other drugs like methamphetamine or heroin. This doesn’t mean that you can ignore them. Instead, you have to face them head-on.
For the possession of marijuana, the weight of the drug determines what you are facing. For smaller amounts of less than 4 ounces, you will have to answer to a Class A misdemeanor if it is your first marijuana charge. Subsequent charges and those associated with more than 4 ounces are felony charges.
While the penalties for marijuana possession aren’t harsh for smaller amounts, any case involving at least 10 pounds comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of anywhere from three years to six years for possession charges. If you have more than 500 pounds, it is presumed that you intend to traffic the drug, which comes with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison if you are convicted.
The courts have a lot of leeway in how they handle marijuana possession charges that aren’t associated with a mandatory minimum sentence. Some opt to allow people to use drug courts, but this is only an option for qualified individuals. You should learn about those programs and any other options you have so that you can make decisions about the direction of your defense.