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Arkansas NORML Files Initiative To Decriminalize Marijuana

Thursday, 18 November 1999

Arkansas state Attorney General Mark Pryor has approved the wording for an initiative that would lessen the fine and eliminate jail time for small amounts of marijuana possession.
The initiative, presented by Arkansas NORML's Glen Schwarz, proposes "Any person who knowingly or intentionally is in unlawful possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of not more than $200."
The current penalty in Arkansas for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
"This is a counter-attack on the war on drugs," Schwarz said. "By asking people to sign the petition it at least allows for them to consider the issue." With the petition's wording approved, Arkansas NORML now must obtain 58,481 signatures by next July for the initiative to appear on the 2000 ballot.
For more information, please contact Glen Schwarz of Arkansas NORML at (501) 568-1598.