We’ve been busy at the Arkansas Capitol Building. Below is a list of some of the notable bills that have been filed at the Arkansas Legislature so far.
- H.B. 1032 (Act 45 of 2016). This good, pro-life bill prohibits some dismemberment abortion procedures–such as the D&E and sharp curettage procedures, in which a living, unborn baby is dismembered. The bill passed the Arkansas Legislature and was recently signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
- S.B. 148. This good, pro-life bill protects babies who survive an abortion from being denied medical treatment, and it ensures doctors and nurses provide reasonable medical care and nourishment to any infant born in Arkansas.
- H.B. 1185. This bill makes it easier for the State to give a death certificate to a baby that is miscarried or stillborn. It reinforces the fact that unborn children are people, and that their deaths should be treated the same as anyone else’s.
- S.B. 112. This bill lets home schoolers and private school families deduct certain education costs from their income taxes.
- H.B. 1208. This bill clarifies that home schoolers and private school students can enroll in academic courses at their local public schools if their public school district is willing to enroll them. This practice is currently permitted primarily through state rules and regulations. H.B. 1208 writes it into state law.
- H.B. 1391. This good bill makes it easier for local municipalities to zone and regulate marijuana farms and marijuana stores.
- H.B. 1392. This good bill effectively prohibits the commercial production or sale of marijuana edibles, but lets marijuana cardholders and caregivers mix marijuana with food or drink to aid ingestion. This means a marijuana dispensary would not be able to sell gummy bears or candy bars infused with marijuana–many of which look like ordinary candy–but marijuana users would still be permitted to mix marijuana with food or drink at home.
- H.B. 1400. This good bill prohibits marijuana smoking. Smoking is a recreational activity. It is not medicine–in fact, smoking is universally recognized as harmful to a person’s health. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, and secondhand marijuana smoke is dangerous for children. As marijuana proponents pointed out time and again last year, smoking is not the only way a person can use so-called “medical marijuana.” With that in mind, this bill prohibits marijuana smoking in Arkansas.
- S.B. 238. This good bill amends the deadlines and timetables in the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment to delay implementation of the state’s medical marijuana program until marijuana is legalized at the federal level. Right now, marijuana growers, sellers, and users can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws even though Arkansas’ constitution says marijuana is legal. S.B. 238 solves this problem by effectively delaying implementation of the state’s marijuana program until federal law allows it.
- S.B. 130. This bill clarifies that a person will be considered “under the influence” of marijuana if a test shows he or she has 5 nanograms or more of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) per milliliter of blood. Right now Arkansas medical marijuana amendment does not define “under the influence of marijuana,” and law enforcement does not have a clear means by which to determine if a driver is impaired by marijuana.