Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Little Rock to Vote on Making Marijuana Offenses Low Priority for Law Enforcement

It’s the second attempt to pass the ordinance.

Little Rock to Vote on Making Marijuana Offenses Low Priority for Law Enforcement
Shutterstock

The Board of Directors of Little Rock, Arkansas plan to vote on Tuesday on making marijuana offenses in the city a low priority for law enforcement. Under a proposed ordinance from City Director Ken Richardson of Ward 2, misdemeanor marijuana crimes would become the lowest law enforcement priority for the city.

According to the proposed ordinance, “law enforcement resources would be better spent in programs that deal with serious and violent crimes.” The proposal also notes that arrests for misdemeanor marijuana offenses “often result in the loss of employment, educational opportunities, or a combination of both.”

“For the most part, if you have more of these types of arrest, you can lose Pell grants, you can have problems with housing, employment, so there are a number of negatives effects it can have you and your family if you have these kind of arrest on your record,” Richardson told local media.

Second Time Around

Tuesday will be the second time the Little Rock Board of Directors considers Richardson’s ordinance to make misdemeanor marijuana crimes the city’s lowest law enforcement priority. He also introduced the ordinance last year, but the Board of Directors failed to approve the measure.

The ordinance was opposed by former mayor Mark Stodola and former police chief Kenton Buckner. At the time, Buckner said that the proposal wasn’t necessary because low-level marijuana crimes were already a low priority for local law enforcement officers.

“We already manage those kinds of discretionary issues that we already have on the front end because we know we have limited jail space,” said Buckner.

Richardson replied that if the enforcement of minor marijuana crimes was already a low priority for law enforcement in the city, there should be no problem with codifying the policy.

“If it’s already a priority what the harm in having that in writing?” Richardson asked. “No one has explained that to me yet. I mean what’s the harm of having it in writing if it’s a principle we’re already operating by?”

But Buckner said that the proposal would unnecessarily tie the hands of police officers.

“One of the pieces of language [in the ordinance] reads that there would be a low priority to investigate; so if we come upon a car that has an odor of marijuana, do we not investigate further to make sure that the individual doesn’t have weapons in the vehicle or some other drugs?” questioned the chief of police. “Those are some of the things that we have concerns about.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

Arkansas' medical cannabis program is just shy of its one year anniversary.

Medical Marijuana

Despite delays, Arkansas' medical cannabis program is proving to be successful.

News

The latest challenge in Arkansas' medical marijuana program.

News

Will the Drug Policy Education Group give cannabis legalization in Arkansas a fighting chance?

News

Patients in Arkansas don't have to wait much longer.

News

SB 441 would restrict cannabis ads near school, and ban traditional signifiers of medicine.

News

The bill would make cannabis possession of certain amounts a violation rather than a crime.

News

Medical cannabis in Arkansas is getting closer and closer.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!