Half-Baked: Arkansas Law on Drug Adulterants and Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance in Arkansas. The potential punishment range for possession of marijuana varies widely depending on the amount found. Possession of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor if the amount is less than four ounces, or 113.4 grams. Possession of four or more ounces of marijuana is a Class D felony. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana or more is a Class A felony, a very serious crime.

The amount of a controlled substance for determining the seriousness level of a possession charge is the “aggregate weight” of the substance including an adulterant or diluent. This means when there is any amount of a controlled substance mixed with any other substances, the combined weight of all substances is what counts, even if the comparative amount of the controlled substance is slight.

It is common for many illegal substances to be mixed or combined with other substances to increase their weight or for purposes of ingestion. Drug dealers are known to “cut” substances such as meth or cocaine with other substances to increase the total weight of their product and increase profits. This is what one normally would consider when thinking about a drug adulterant. However, Arkansas law makes no distinction regarding types of adulterants or diluents used nor their purpose in its definition of aggregate weight of a controlled substance.

Consider this frightening scenario: a person takes a small amount of raw marijuana plant and mixes it with kitchen butter to make a pan of brownies. What could have started out as just a few grams of marijuana mixed with ordinary kitchen ingredients could lead to a felony charge if the total weight of the brownies is four or more ounces. Considering that one ounce is equivalent to the approximate weight of a slice of bread, it is easy to see how being caught with marijuana edibles in Arkansas could land a person in serious trouble.

Clearly, application of Arkansas law on possession of a controlled substance could lead to an absurdly harsh result in this type of situation. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones. Greg Klebanoff has had great success in cases where he has argued that juries should consider all factors, including their common sense as well as the drastic effects a felony conviction could have on an individual for the rest of their lives. If you have been charged with a marijuana offense in Arkansas, contact our office today for more information.