State lawmakers in Arkansas introduced a bill on Monday that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the measure, House Bill 1972, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana would be considered a violation instead of crime and would be subject to a fine of not more than $200. Currently, possession of less than an ounce of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor in Arkansas. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Charles Blake and Sen. Joyce Elliot and co-sponsored by Rep. Vivian Flowers, all Democrats.
The bill does not change the law for possession of larger amounts of marijuana. Under current statute, possession of one to four ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, although with four or more prior convictions possession of that amount can be charged as a Class D felony. Possessing four ounces to 10 pounds of marijuana is a Class D felony and 10 to 25 pounds of weed is a Class C felony. Possession of 25 fo 100 pounds of marijuana is a Class B felony and possessing more than 100 pounds of pot is a Class A felony. Under HB 1972, possession of less than one ounce would not qualify as