Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Voters in Fayetteville, AR, will decide on how law enforcement should prioritize cannabis.
Television news station KFSM reported on September 5, 2008 ("Marijuana initiative makes the ballot in Fayetteville") that "Fayetteville voters will have the choice come November to vote on making adult marijuana possession the lowest police priority. Sensible Fayetteville pulled out more than enough signatures to make the november ballot with their initiative. Now, it's up to voters to decide whether or not the measure will pass. Ryan Denham with Sensible Fayetteville said, 'We needed 301 signatures to make the ballot.' Sensible Fayetteville turned in just over a thousand signatures august 29th. Reportedly, the petition has qualified with more than the necessary 3686 signatures to make it on the November ballot."
According to KFSM, "Denham describes how the initiative will read on the ballot, 'It's going to say lowest law enforcement priority and it's going to talk about establishing adult marijuana policy for misdemeanor amounts for adults.' The group claims these arrests are clogging the court and jail systems-using up a lot of taxpayer dollars. Denham said, 'We're spending 30 million dollars a year in the state of Arkansas just arresting and prosecuting marijuana offenders for small time-small amounts.'
The report noted that "Right now, Police say anything under an ounce is a Class A misdemeanor, which means mandatory arrest with a one year max jail time and possible thousand dollar fine. The same procedure applies to shoplifters-and other Class A misdemeanor offenses-they have to be brought to jail for fingerprinting. Police say they see many more shoplifter arrests than ounce or less marijuana arrests. If arrested for a second offense of misdemeanor possession with a conviction on the first offense then it becomes a felony."