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Arkansas Marijuana Laws

Marijuana laws vary quite a bit from state to state, with a growing number of states even legalizing the federally-prohibited plant. Most states now allow the medical use of marijuana with a physician's written recommendation or state registration, but each state has its own unique approach to regulation. Arkansas is one of more than 25 states which allows for medical use for certain conditions.

Voters in Arkansas voted down a ballot referendum that would have decriminalized recreational possession and use of the drug in 2022. However, like most other states, Arkansas does not punish people as severely for marijuana offenses as they do for those involving other illegal drugs, such as heroin or methamphetamines.

Arkansas Marijuana Laws at a Glance

Arkansas drug laws allow some discretion by the court, but still include the possibility of incarceration for up to one year for possession of scant amounts of marijuana. The state also imposes mandatory minimum sentences for possession of more than 10 pounds or sale of more than 4 ounces of marijuana. Possession of more than 500 pounds of marijuana can be considered trafficking, or evidence of a "presumption of intent" to traffic.

In 2019, the Arkansas legislature specified that cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol derived from hemp are not considered marijuana under the criminal statute.

Additional details about Arkansas's current marijuana laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Drug Charges and Patient Rights sections for more information.

Code Section

5-64-101, et seq.

Is Marijuana Legal in Arkansas?

Legal for medical use only


  • Less than 4 oz., 1st offense: Class A misdemeanor (max. 1 yr., $2,500 fine) 

  • 1-4 oz., and any subsequent offense: Class D felony (max. 6 yrs., $10,000 fine)

  • 4 oz. - 10 lbs.: Class D felony (max. 6 yrs., $10,000 fine)

  • 10-25 lbs.: Class C felony (mandatory min. 3 yrs - max. 10 yrs. and $10,000 fine)

  • 25-100 lbs.: Class B felony (mandatory min. 5 yrs. - max. 20 yrs. and $15,000 fine)

  • 100-500 lbs.: Class A felony (mandatory min. 6 yrs. - max. 30 yrs. and $15,000 fine)


  • 14 g or less: misdemeanor (max. 1 yr., $2,500 fine)

  • 14 g - 4 oz.: Class D felony (max. 6 yrs., $10,000)

  • 4 oz. - 25 lbs.: Class C felony (mandatory min. 3 yrs. - max. 10 yrs. and $10,000 fine)

  • 25-100 lbs.: Class B felony (mandatory min. 5 yrs. - max. 20 yrs. and $15,000 fine)

  • 100-500 lbs.: Class A felony (mandatory min. 6 yrs. - max. 30 yrs. and $15,000 fine)

Note: increased penalty within 1000 ft. of a school


500 lbs. or more (presumption of intent to traffick): Class Y felony (mandatory min. 10 yrs. - max. 40 yrs., $15,000 fine)

Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

Yes, in 2016 voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, (Issue 6) as an amendment to the state constitution. This amendment legalized marijuana for medical use in Arkansas for 17 qualifying conditions and allowed for the establishment and regulation of marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Cancer

  • Glaucoma

  • Positive status for HIV/AIDS

  • Hepatitis C

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Tourette’s snydrome

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • PTSD

  • Severe arthritis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Alzheimer’s disease

For the most updated information, speak with an attorney or contact the Arkansas Department of Health.

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of new statutes but sometimes as the result of a higher court's ruling. It may be necessary to contact an Arkansas drug crimes attorney or conduct independent legal research to verify a particular state's law(s).

Research the Law

Arkansas Marijuana Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About Arkansas Marijuana Laws by Speaking to an Attorney

Laws surrounding marijuana use, either for recreational or medical purposes, change constantly, so it is important to have the most up-to-date information if you or someone you love is being charged with a crime or is interested in using marijuana for qualifying medical conditions.

Speak with an experienced drug crime attorney near you to learn more about Arkansas marijuana laws and how they apply to your situation.

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