I believe that now is the time for Arkansas to develop a just and equitable cannabis industry that encourages economic growth, funds education programs, and will protect police officers and citizens alike. I favor the legalization of recreational cannabis, which would generate tax revenue for educational programs and expunge nonviolent felony and misdemeanor cannabis convictions.
The resources that have gone into law enforcement and convictions could then be refocused on preventing and handling serious crimes. Legalizing cannabis would also allow for economic development and early movement into a rapidly-growing industry. Development now would allow expansion of existing agricultural education programs using federal funds and support Arkansas farmers in solidifying their presence in this industry.
These actions would also protect existing medical cannabis farmers and business owners, and ensure that the economic benefits from this industry remain in Arkansas and for Arkansans. In Arkansas, legalizing recreational cannabis would create substantial tax revenue for the state. As seen in other states who have legalized cannabis, billions of dollars have been made and allocated to programs and grants addressing education, health, and more. As Governor, I would have the state manage and collect the funds raised by taxing, licensing, and other fee revenue from the cannabis industry. These funds would be allocated to education programs including preschool for all, youth literacy, develop trade certification programs, and college scholarships. Legalizing cannabis means allowing the production and consumption of marijuana, but it also means expunging criminal records related to marijuana. People should not spend the rest of their lives paying for crimes related to cannabis, and then, law enforcement can focus on more serious crimes. Unjust marijuana policies disproportionately impact Black, Brown, and low-income Arkansans. Just and equitable cannabis industry is imperative for both social and economic progress in our state.
To create a more just and equitable cannabis industry, I would:
In 2020 when I ran for the US Senate, cannabis reform and legalization was a major platform. I have continued that push for legalization of cannabis and its removal from the DEA schedule list. Here in the state of Arkansas, I supported the True Grass amendment. I felt that is was more in line with the principles of Liberty. If elected governor, I pledge to expunge the records of those with non-violent cannabis possession charges, and advocate for a fair cannabis industry in the state of Arkansas.
Arkansans deserve safe and affordable access to tested products, the right for patients to grow at home, expungement for non-violent cannabis offenses, and social equity programs to aid Arkansans hurt by the failed war on drugs.
I support the complete legalization of marijuana in Arkansas. Residents should be able to grow, sell and consume cannabis in the same way they do tomatoes, basil or any other fruit, herb or vegetable. Until that is politically possible, I support other measures that may ultimately lead to that result. As a Libertarian I believe that every person has an absolute right to live their life in any way they choose so long as they do not violate the same absolute rights of others. Government has no role in the production, distribution and consumption of food, beverage or other products if no one is injured by the process or compelled to partake in it. Prohibition has never worked and always does more damage than the supposed evil it is designed to eradicate. Current state and federal legislation should be changed and any person currently in prison, on probation or otherwise punished for violations of those unconstitutional laws should be immediately released and all criminal records cleared. Doing these things is not an easy matter. It will require years of dedicated political activism. I look forward to working with you to that end
Too many Arkansans are locked away for possession of small amounts of marijuana – something that is now legal under many circumstances. We’ve seen the life-altering and even life-saving effects that medical marijuana can have for cancer patients, veterans suffering from PTSD, and those who suffer from chronic pain. And we saw at the polls that an overwhelming majority of Arkansas want greater access to marijuana as a medical treatment option. It’s time for our state law to catch up to what Arkansans want. It’s time to legalize and regulate marijuana use. To address the real problems of our criminal justice system it’s time for our state to stop paying to keep low-level offenders locked up and instead, to regulate and tax marijuana, so that we are raising, not losing money.
Since the fairly recent passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, we have seen important positive effects in the lives of many Arkansans. That includes those suffering from chronic illnesses, such as cancer, glaucoma, arthritis, and other debilitating conditions. It also includes many veterans suffering from PTSD as a direct result of their service to our country. A country that is rapidly realizing the personal and economic benefits of cannabis.
While the Attorney General must enforce laws as they are written, it is important to realize and advocate for policies that benefit the citizens of Arkansas and the state itself. In addition to the benefits of a just and equitable cannabis industry cited above, the legalization of recreational cannabis would be an important and driving factor in generating additional tax revenue to fund our local schools, higher education, and a myriad of programs that would benefit Arkansans. Other states have shown us that there are billions of dollars for the state to reap and allocate to important health and education programs, and we would be wise to follow suit.
In addition, legalization of recreational cannabis would free up our law enforcement officers to focus on violent crime. Resources that had previously gone to policing cannabis would be freed up to keep our streets, neighborhoods, and schools safer. It is time to stop the never ending cycle of keeping low level offenders locked up. Instead, we should regulate and tax cannabis so that we are raising, not spending, money that would benefit Arkansas.
I fully support the legalization of recreational marijuana. There are many benefits that this could bring to our great state. Arkansas is currently missing the potential for economic growth. People are spending money in other states, and we need to keep that money here in Arkansas. We know the medical benefits of cannabis. It helps people with chronic pain, pain relief, sleep, and eating disorders. Personally, I used cannabis as a teenager for pain relief and an adult for weight gain from dental surgery that caused me to lose a dangerous amount of weight. The economic benefits that Arkansas can receive from the legalization of recreational marijuana is growth. Our farming community can easily grow cannabis because we have rich soil. We can use the taxation to make our public schools better and give the educators a much needed raise. Many jobs can be created from private business along with job growth. Our criminal justice system would get relief from prosecuting needless possession charges. People could have their records expunged and no longer have a criminal conviction so that they can get better jobs. The jail system would not be as overcrowded and we could focus time and money on people who are actually committing crimes. We have all witnessed in Colorado the growth of recreational marijuana. If we do it right, Arkansas can have the same, perhaps even better, results. NORML has worked passionately in their endeavor to get this important issue on the ballot, and I would be honored to work with them to pass laws to make recreational marijuana legal and help our state and its people.
I stand with Arkansans in decriminalizing access to plants. The tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales should support state-funded universal school lunch programs, paying educators fair and equitable wages, and state-funded programs for dual diagnoses treatment and sober living for uninsured/underinsured Arkansans for mental health and substance use disorders.
Arkansans already have access to marijuana and criminalizing it only benefits the penal system. There is a disproportionate amount of criminal enforcement of marijuana-related charges on people of color, low-income, and Hispanic populations in Arkansas even though marijuana usage has been proven to be equal among all socio-status/ethnicities.
As a candidate for Dist 34, I support matijuana reform.
Right now, our district and state need to move forward, from a pandemic, an era of scandal, and the old ways of governing that have failed so many citizens for so long. I chose to move home after 20 years of moving from state to state with the US Government. One thing I noticed is Arkansas appears to be stagnant with the aged way of living . I’m a firm believer of the saying, “Without new, courageous, progressive leadership creating change, the way things have always been will stand in the way of what they can be.”
.Every other state is getting with the program of moving forward with time, but Arkansas appears to be in the old west times. I’ve been waiting to see the police start pulling people over with horses and buggy due to how we are moving backwards.
States Colorado and Washington is showing their great progression with their new laws. While stationed in those states, I noticed their advancements. New buildings, job opportunities and their great decision to legalize marijuana.
Colorado and Washington over the past several years have resulted in massive tax revenues. Washington state collected a total of $559.5 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2021, including $4.1 million in cannabis license fees.
As of May 2022, research shows that 18 states have legalized the personal use of marijuana. In addition, 37 states have legalized the medical use of marijuana.
For decades, Arkansas, governor after governor, has increased taxes and fees; in the land of steady habits, it seemed inevitable. But, it is a habit I’m hell-bent on breaking.
Since 2016, legislators have attacked the marijuana program. Marijuana saved my life! The twenty years of law enforcement made me depressed and I was diagnosed with PTSD. So many patients have improved their health with the use of medical marijuana, but our law excludes far too many patients that need it.
. An elder living across the street from my parents asked me to take a trip with him one day.
That same trip landed me at a medical marijuana doctor in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Since that trip, I needed less medications as I was prescribed. Therefore, I’m a strong advocate for marijuana use.
The stigma that has surrounded marijuana for the last 80 plus years MUST change. People of color and low income people have suffered enough. It is time to legalize and tax marijuana for adult-use. The tax benefits for Arkansas will be overwhelming on issues like holding down the costs of healthcare, childcare, and college tuition, making Arkansas more affordable for everyone.
Elected as a state representative or not, I will continue to be a strong advocate, This year, we need to elect people that are advocates of budget cuts, cutting taxes for working and middle-class families, marijuana as personal use and a list of much-needed improvements to our state.
It is time to bring Arkansas from the lowest in the nation. I believe that legalizing marijuana for personal use, allow home grow and expunge non-violent records is a great way to move Arkansas forward.
I am Dee Sanders and I am running for the Arkansas House of from District 55.
I support the legalization of recreational marijuana. The first few months that Colorado
implemented legalization they collected more than 6 million in tax revenue. That revenue
continues to grow every year. There are so many things that could be done with this revenue!
Legalization would also help the overburdening of our prisons if we release those who are
imprisioned for misdemeanor drug charges and if we are no longer spending the time and
money on arresting and imprisioning otherwise lawabiding citizens.
My final reason for supporting this initiative is because of the medical benefits! Many folks are not insured and not
able to see a doctor to be issued a medical marijuana card and they would have the option
of purchasing it for their pain relief, side effects from chemo, and a myriad of other issues helped
Drugs are very dangerous and cause way too many addictions that ruin countless lives. Caring individuals work hard to educate youth and intervene on behalf of drug addicts. Criminal penalties against the use and possession of drugs make the problem worse and should be abandoned. These penalties discourage individuals from seeking help and also create extremely high prices that provide a lucrative revenue source for criminal gangs and cartels. Police and courts have too much on their plate as it is. Howard's goal of drug decriminalization will allow the justice system to focus on violence and keep more people out of the criminal system.
For too long the governmental view on drugs has criminalized citizens across the nation. By treating drug possession and use as a criminal act, thousands have been incarcerated for their personal choices. The idea of Individual Liberty is that citizens should have the right to ingest anything, so long as they do not harm anyone, steal anything, or neglect/mistreat children while doing so. By treating the drug problem as a health issue instead of a criminal one, citizens can be given access to the help and care they need to overcome their addiction. Illicit drugs should be regulated and monitored just like powerful prescription drugs and/or alcohol and tobacco.
Arkansas has taken a step, by allowing medical marijuana to be prescribed by physicians, in the right direction in addressing drug policy. But more can and should be done. Non-violent drug offenders should not be incarcerated for simple possession, instead they need access to health systems which can help them defeat the specter of addiction. By reducing penalties for drug users they would feel safer asking for help from health officials, whereas now they may fear criminal repercussions if they confess to drug use. Funding for the drug war should be focused on violent offenders, external threats (such as Fentanyl flowing from Mexico), and protecting Arkansas' burgeoning cannabis industry.
I am running for Arkansas State House District 58.
Medical Marijuana has been shown to help many Americans in this country. People who suffer from chronic pain, depression, PTSD, anxiety, glaucoma, and many other health conditions have seen the positive benefits of marijuana in their medical treatment.
Often times doctors are permitted to prescribe highly addictive opiates, but denied the authority to legally prescribe medical marijuana. Even with marijuana having minimal side effects, it's seen as a harsh "drug" and substantial criminal charges are given to people with small amounts in their possession.
In order to prevent this from happening, Arkansans should support the certification and use of medical marijuana to holistically treat Arkansans who may be suffering from a variety of health ailments. This in turn provides doctors an alternative avenue for treating their patients.
I also believe that adults should have the right to use marijuana for personal use. Far too many poor and people of color have had their lives destroyed because of arrest and conviction of marijuana charges, even in small amounts. Arkansas, as well as the nation need to legalize and tax marijuana, expunge records for non-violent marijuana charges and allow patients the ability to grow a small number of plants
Rep. FLowers has worked closely with marijuana advocates trying to pass legislation to legalize marijuna in the state
Arkansas has proven a patient need for cannabis since voters authorized its sale for medicinal purposes six years ago. Year over year, more Arkansans are registering for medical cannabis cards and dispensaries are booming. No one can deny the economic driver of legal cannabis. On the campaign trail, I have heard repeatedly the positive benefits cannabis has had on Saline County residents and their families — from elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases to young entrepreneurs beginning their careers in local dispensaries. There have been no substantial or long-term negative benefits from the current sale of cannabis in Arkansas.
Arkansas should take the next step in legalizing cannabis for all use, including recreational for adults 21 years old and older.. The benefits of doing so would unlock millions for Arkansas families and workers, as well as provide lucrative tax revenue for the state. Moreover — and more importantly — a majority of Arkansans want legal cannabis, and our elected representatives should heed that public opinion. It’s important that while instituting legal cannabis Arkansas also:
● Allocate tax revenue for the cannabis industry to public services, such as public education, medical care for Arkansas’ children, elderly, veterans, and poor;
● Establish fair-market practices so that the ability to sell or grow cannabis is not limited to wealthy or well-connected businesses;
● Allow Arkansans to grow a limited amount of cannabis legally;
● Expunge the sentences of those incarcerated for cannabis possession; and
● Fund training for police and law enforcement professionals to refocus and retire cannabis prevention tactics.
My name is Cortney McKee. I am the Democratic candidate for state senate district six. Medical marijuana has made a huge impact on patients in our state. We voted to approve it in 2016, and the GOP state legislature dragged their feet and gave preference to their friends when it came to permits for dispensaries. Years later the first patient walked into the first dispensary in Arkansas.
I support adult recreational use of marijuana, but the legislation needs to be fair, and with the people in mind. There should not be a push to have cannabis monopolies insuring they don't have competitors. With no new competitors, they can continue to set the prices ridiculously high and have no need to increase the quality of their cannabis. New legislation should expunge criminal marijuana convictions and give them an opportunity to work in the business.
When I am elected to the state senate, I will work hard to find legislators on both sides of the aisle to quickly implement new beneficial policies. I will not corrupt or try and prevent the will of the people on the issue of cannabis.
My name is Nick Cartwright and I am the Democrat running for Arkansas State Senate District 18. Marijuana legalization is an issue that I have spoken out on and been an advocate for as a private citizen, and now as a candidate for state senate. It is not only the right and just thing to do, but the popular one as well. The support for legalization in our state is there. Arkansas voters handily approved medical marijuana at the ballot box in 2016 and support has continued to grow. While I absolutely support medical marijuana, I think that the way it is set up in Arkansas currently only benefits a handful of families and companies while most Arkansans are left out of its benefits. That is why I am in favor of complete legalization of recreational marijuana for adults regarding use, possession, and home-cultivation. We should also release anyone in prison for marijuana-related charges plus completely expunge the records of anyone convicted of these crimes in the past. For far too long, marijuana has been used to demonize and criminalize communities - especially black and brown communities - and we must take action to ensure this does not continue. These communities should be the first to receive investments from the revenue generated by legal marijuana, and we should ensure they have a better chance to own the businesses profiting from it. It would also have an enormous boost to Arkansas’s economy. As we have seen in other states, legalizing marijuana could open up hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in tax revenue that we could spend on investments in communities, schools, and families across the state. I want to be clear on one point though. I support legalizing marijuana when it benefits the low-income, working-class, rural, and communities of color in Arkansas - not the wealthy, corporations, or elite who currently benefit from every policy being ushered in by Arkansas Republicans. Legalizing marijuana should be a just, fair, and equitable process. We could use these revenues to ensure excellent public school funding, climate-focused infrastructure, affordable housing, and protecting our family farms. The possibilities are endless. Legalizing marijuana will have all kinds of other benefits as well. Instead of crowded prisons and overworked police, we can work on bettering our communities. Instead of barriers to help, tens-of-thousands of Arkansans will have the freedom to better their health. And instead of the ugly stigma being placed around marijuana, Arkansans can enjoy a recreational activity that is comparable to drinking alcohol. The time is now to support candidates and causes who want to see a fair and equitable way to legalize marijuana to benefit all Arkansans. I am proud to be one of those candidates
Derek has worked as a private citizen to promote marijuana reform. he has proven that he will work for reform if elected.
The tax revenue from legalization could be allocated back into the healthcare and education system (one of many options). Not only does Arkansas have an underfunded education system, but it’s also one of the poorest states. By legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana with full expungement of previous marijuana crimes we can address multiple issues at once for decades to come. I hope Arkansas politicians and regulators can work together to lead the charge in the nation and certainly in the South at turning this cash crop loose and setting the standard for legislation that stimulates the economy from the bottom up by empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs.
There are so many good treatises on the issue of legalizing cannabis, that I will have no pretense of presenting one better. It is important as a candidate for the Arkansas State Senate to take a stand and provide the reasoning for their position. On that note, I would be quick to denigrate any candidate that states they have a position and then fails to explain the why or how because this is both a case of laziness and often, simply done to join a bandwagon that appears useful to their campaign. Support for legalization of cannabis, and hemp, has many aspects that can be discussed at length. To spare the reader I will be somewhat brief while addressing some key points. ● Personal Freedom. We enjoy many freedoms in this country knowing in a responsible way that our actions may impact others, such as driving a car on a public roadway. This is evidenced by the tens of thousands of people who are killed every year. Accordingly we have created laws along with mechanical devices that have reduced the dangers of driving - BUT WE HAVE NOT TOTALLY OUTLAWED THE PERSONAL USE OF VEHICLES. The literature I’ve read indicates that a lethal overdose of cannabis is extremely rare and the few cases cited are associated with other contributory factors. So the point is the danger of cannabis use, as it has been overblown for decades, simply does not rise to the level of danger we find in other activities that are less regulated, if at all. Exposure to sunlight without proper sunscreen could be regulated on the premise that this is for the protection of the individual, after all 2 people die every hour in the U.S. due to skin cancer, but we are not about to incarcerate citizens for going out in the sun without applying their SPF-50 first are we? Ironically, one who reads on this subject will find that the liquor industry is a primary culprit in the vilification that led to cannabis prohibition. ● The history of cannabis prohibition is nearly a century-long study in promulgating misinformation by power elites that were very successful in brainwashing much of the American public. Some of this effort has been laughable, such as the film “Reefer Madness” but most has had serious consequences for citizens who have found no relief in alternative medical prescription drugs for their ailments. Many of the allowed prescription pharmaceuticals have proven to be extremely addictive and even lethal. The obvious development of a black market trade in cannabis caused by the prohibition has introduced an unregulated product that can be dangerous. For example the sale of a crop that had been sprayed with paraquat just prior to harvesting. ● A longterm human danger of cannabis prohibition is primarily with the legal system that has ruined people’s lives for what we can describe as a “victimless crime”. For several reasons one can point to the prohibition of cannabis has actually harmed and even ended more people’s lives than if the prohibition had never been created. Fatalities that occurred during a shootout with law enforcement during a “drugbust”, or inmates who died from Covid-19 due to exposure while serving a sentence for a misdemeanor charge of possession, are so needless. Even if one survives these challenges of the legal system and is released to rejoin society, under the present law in most states, they carry a permanent record of their incarceration that follows them for life and limits job opportunities and is used by the courts in later cases to impose stiffer penalties. While serving in the State Senate, I would argue for legalization of cannabis for the reasons stated above, but also for the economic benefit to the state. In a simplified comparison with Colorado where $300 million was collected in taxes in a state with twice the population of Arkansas, then $150 million can conceivably be collected. The immediate economic boon is not limited to tax revenues but also to the industry that includes the growers, the distributors and especially the patients. There are other economic benefits, such as reducing the state’s inmate population for those being held on possession charges, reduced workload by the legal system to pursue cannabis-related offenders. Lastly, regarding the justice system, all the criminal records of cannabis-offenders need to be thoroughly expunged. And we haven’t even begun to discuss hemp. The industrial applications and economic power of hemp use will be enormous and too numerous to detail here. As an agricultural powerhouse, Arkansas is very capable of becoming a major supplier of hemp and hemp products. Many of these products have proven superior as alternatives to conventional building materials and many consumable products that have environmental impact. To avoid opening up businesses to these opportunities would be short-sided and due to disinformation bias.
The abolishment of The Controlled Substances Act, releases of non violent drug offenders, and "home grow rights" advocacy are key parts of my campaign platform.