LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Medical marijuana sparked a lot of questions in Arkansas.
Dozens of questions were submitted to 11 Listens by viewers about how everyone from police to prosecutors will enforce the medical marijuana laws. Here are some of those questions.
“Can you carry medical marijuana on your person?”
We started out by calling four different law enforcement agencies. They all told THV11 they haven't been given any direction on that and sent us to state police. Arkansas State Police sent THV11 their current policy and said they're waiting for direction from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
The ABC's new director said those questions are relevant to the Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator. THV11 contacted Bob McMahan and he directed us to the written law. Here’s what it says:
“A medical marijuana patient or caregiver can be in possession of medical marijuana if they are carrying their patient card, and no more than 2-and-a-half ounces of 'usable' marijuana.”
“Can I smoke medical marijuana in public?”
McMahan said they haven't spent a great deal of time talking about these laws. His office is the one prosecutors will call for clarification or assistance, but the actual law doesn't mention any charges or punishment. Right now, one prosecutor could determine if your front porch is considered public and another could say it is part of your property so it is entirely up to them.
“Where can you not smoke marijuana?”
That answer was also in the law. You can't smoke marijuana where smoking tobacco is prohibited; in the presence of someone under the age of 14; inside a car, boat, or plane; anywhere someone else may catch a contact-high; or knowingly in front of a pregnant woman.
McMahan said they can't answer a lot of the detailed questions we submitted, for example, "Can police arrest you if they feel you are high in public?" or "Can I be under the influence around my kids?” A lot of these questions could play out in court.
He sent THV11 this statement:
“There are many areas of the new medical marijuana laws that will be open to interpretation. Many of the common questions as to who is eligible to smoke medical marijuana, and when and where such persons can smoke medical marijuana are addressed in Act 740 of 2017. However, as with many new laws, we expect there will be a significant learning curve for law enforcement as they conduct investigations, prosecutors as they are faced with making charging decisions, and the courts as they interpret and make rulings on these new provisions implementing medical marijuana in Arkansas.”
McMahan said these questions will most likely require new legislation with a thorough explanation from the state legislature about how they'd like the justice system to prosecute.
If you have anything you'd like us to look into, or any questions about medical marijuana email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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