Fayetteville voters to consider marijuana measure

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Voters in Fayetteville will decide November 4th whether police should put a lower priority on arresting people for possession of marijuana.

But officials say the measure will have little effect, because city ordinances can't supersede state drug laws, and police say marijuana arrests already are a lower priority than violent crimes or possession of drugs like methamphetamine.

A group called Sensible Fayetteville gathered the more than 3,600 signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot. In 2006, voters in Eureka Springs approved a similar measure.

The Fayetteville proposal differs from the one approved in Eureka Springs because it requires the city clerk to send letters annually requesting federal and state governments enact similar laws.

The initiative applies only to the Fayetteville Police Department, not the University of Arkansas police, Arkansas State Police or the Washington County Sheriff's Office. It would officially de-emphasize enforcement of misdemeanor marijuana regulations, which include possession of an ounce or less of marijuana and paraphernalia possession.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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