Arkansas Constitution of 1874 Amendment 98, § 3. Protections for the medical use of marijuana

(a) A qualifying patient or designated caregiver in actual possession of a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this amendment if the qualifying patient or designated caregiver possesses not more than two and one-half ounces (2 1/2 oz.) of usable marijuana.

(b)(1) A qualifying patient or designated caregiver is presumed to be lawfully engaged in the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this amendment if the qualifying patient or designated caregiver is in actual possession of a registry identification card and possesses an amount of usable marijuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this amendment.

(2) The presumption made in subdivision (b)(1) of this section may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of treating or alleviating the qualifying patient's qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying medical condition in accordance with this amendment.

(c) A qualifying patient or designated caregiver shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, for giving, or offering to give, up to two and one-half ounces (2 1/2 oz.) of usable marijuana to a qualifying patient or designated caregiver for the qualifying patient's medical use when nothing of value is transferred in return.

(d) A designated caregiver is not prohibited from receiving compensation or reimbursement of expenses from a qualifying patient for assisting a qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana.

(e) A dispensary may:

(1) Accept marijuana seedlings, plants, or usable marijuana from:

(A) Cultivation facilities;

(B) Other dispensaries in Arkansas;  and

(C) If permissible under federal law, out-of-state dispensaries;

(2) Transfer or sell marijuana seedlings, plants, or usable marijuana to:

(A) Cultivation facilities;

(B) Other dispensaries in Arkansas;  and

(C) If permissible under federal law, out-of-state dispensaries;  and

(3) Accept marijuana seeds from any individual lawfully entitled to possess marijuana seeds, seedlings, or plants under the laws of the state in which the individual resides.

(f)(1) A school or landlord shall not refuse to enroll, refuse to lease to, or otherwise penalize an individual solely for his or her status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver unless doing so would put the school or landlord in violation of federal law or regulations.

(2) For the purposes of medical care, including without limitation organ transplants, a qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana in accordance with this amendment is considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance.

(3)(A) An employer shall not discriminate against an applicant or employee in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an applicant or employee, based upon the applicant's or employee's past or present status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver.

(B) A cause of action shall not be established against an employer based upon, and an employer is not prohibited from, any of the following actions:

(i) Establishing and implementing a substance abuse or drug-free workplace policy that may include a drug testing program that complies with state or federal law and taking action with respect to an applicant or employee under the policy;

(ii) Acting on the employer's good faith belief that a qualifying patient:

(a) Possessed, smoked, ingested, or otherwise engaged in the use of marijuana while on the premises of the employer or during the hours of employment;  or

(b) Was under the influence of marijuana while on the premises of the employer or during the hours of employment, provided that a positive test result for marijuana cannot provide the sole basis for the employer's good faith belief;  or

(iii) Acting to exclude a qualifying patient from being employed in or performing a safety sensitive position based on the employer's good faith belief that the qualifying patient was engaged in the current use of marijuana.

(C) The authorized or protected actions of an employer under this subdivision (f)(3) include without limitation:

(i) Implementing, monitoring, or taking measures to assess, supervise, or control the job performance of an employee;

(ii) Reassigning an employee to a different position or job duties;

(iii) Placing an employee on paid or unpaid leave;

(iv) Suspending or terminating an employee;

(v) Requiring an employee to successfully complete a substance abuse program before returning to work;

(vi) Refusing to hire an applicant;  or

(vii) Any combination of the actions listed in subdivisions (f)(3)(C)(i) -- (f)(3)(C)(vi) of this section.

(D)(i) Damages established for an employment discrimination claim based on an applicant's or employee's past or present status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver in violation of this amendment shall be limited to the damages available for an employment discrimination claim under § 16-123-107(c) of the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993, § 16-123-101 et seq. , including the statutory limits provided under § 16-123-107(c)(2)(A)(i)-(v) .

(ii) Liability for back pay shall not accrue from a date more than two (2) years prior to the filing of an action.

(iii) Damages under this subdivision (f)(3) shall not duplicate or increase an award for damages over the statutory limit allowed by state law or federal law existing on January 1, 2017, whichever is lower.

(E) An action based on employment discrimination in violation of this subdivision (f)(3) shall be brought within one (1) year of the occurrence of the alleged discrimination.

(F) An individual employee, agent of the employer, or employee of the agent of the employer is not liable for any violation of this subdivision (f)(3) that the employer is found to have committed.

(G) This amendment does not waive the sovereign immunity of the State of Arkansas.

(g) A person otherwise entitled to custody of, or visitation or parenting time with, a minor shall not be denied custody, visitation, or parenting time solely for conduct allowed under this amendment, nor shall there be:

(1) A finding of abuse solely for conduct allowed under this amendment;  or

(2) A presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this amendment.

(h)(1) A physician shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Arkansas State Medical Board or by any other business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing a written certification.

(2) Subdivision (g)(1) of this section does not prevent a professional licensing board from sanctioning a physician for failing to properly evaluate a patient's medical condition or for otherwise violating the applicable physician-patient standard of care.

(i) A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, for providing a qualifying patient or designated caregiver with marijuana paraphernalia for purposes of facilitating the qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana.

(j) Any marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, licit property, or interest in licit property, that is possessed, owned, or used exclusively in connection with the medical use of marijuana as allowed under this amendment, or property incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited.

(k) A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, simply for being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marijuana as allowed under this amendment or for directly assisting a physically disabled qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana.

(l)(1) A registry identification card or its equivalent that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States that allows a visiting qualifying patient to possess or use marijuana for medical use in the jurisdiction of issuance has the same force and effect when held by a visiting qualifying patient as a registry identification card issued by the Department of Health if the same qualifying medical condition exists.

(2)(A) A visiting qualifying patient may obtain marijuana from a dispensary upon producing evidence of his or her registry identification card or its equivalent that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States.

(B) The department shall promulgate necessary rules concerning a visiting qualifying patient obtaining marijuana from a dispensary.

(m) A pharmacist shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy or by any other business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for performing his or her duties as a pharmacist consultant for a registered dispensary.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Arkansas Constitution of 1874 Amendment 98, § 3. Protections for the medical use of marijuana - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/arkansas-constitution-of-1874/ar-const-amend-98-sect-3.html


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard