The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association announces a commitment to pursuing restorative justice legislation in the 2023 legislative session.
During the 2023 legislative session, the organization will add to its agenda an education and lobbying effort focused on fair policy change, particularly addressing the inequity in our legal system. According to the ACLU, cannabis-related arrests disproportionately occur in marginalized and minority populations. Black people are 3.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested for cannabis possession despite comparable usage rates.
“Our state’s cannabis trade association will spearhead changes that are overdue in Arkansas,” says ACIA policy committee chair Robbin Rahman. “Individuals with cannabis-related convictions can be denied housing, employment opportunities, education, and even loans. Arkansans should not continue to face these kinds of obstacles based on actions that become legalized or decriminalized.”
ACIA’s focus comes as voters head to the polls considering Issue 4, which would legalize adult use cannabis in Arkansas. Should voters pass recreational cannabis, ACIA’s policy priorities will shift to ensuring no individual is imprisoned for something that is now legal.
“The Arkansas cannabis industry is committed to doing its part to help reverse the negative impacts of the war on drugs,” said Dan Roda, vice president of ACIA. “Arkansas cannabis businesses have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to support organizations like Last Prisoner Project and 40 Tons that work every day in important areas like expungement, sentencing reform, rehabilitation and re-entry. Your vote in favor of Issue 4 helps fund this important work and ensures that your fellow Arkansans are no longer incarcerated over a plant.”
As a first step, Issue 4 would decriminalize adult possession of cannabis up to one ounce. As a second step, ACIA will take action to expunge the records of non-violent cannabis offenses through the legislative process. To join and stay updated on our efforts, fill out this form: