Above: Nearly 900 pounds of high-grade, illegal marijuana found after traffic stop in Lonoke County.

A February 2 news release from the Arkansas State Police reveals that troopers saw a dramatic increase in illegal drug seizures during 2023.

All told, authorities confiscated some 11,000 pounds of illegal drugs and $1.4 million in cash from Arkansas’ highways over the course of the year.

Among other things, state troopers seized more illegal marijuana and illegal THC products in 2023 than in past years.

The press release notes,

Illegal marijuana seizures were up by more than 2,000 pounds year to year. 10,386 pounds were seized in 2023 compared to 8,015 pounds in 2022. Seven out of the top ten illegal marijuana seizures came out of Crawford County, with the largest confiscation from a traffic stop on Interstate 40 in January. During that stop, 939 pounds of illegal marijuana and 141 pounds of illegal THC products were uncovered. . . .

In 2023, ASP confiscated various illegal THC products, including 187 pounds of marijuana edibles, more than 30 pounds of THC wax, and 1470 illegal THC cartridges from a driver who claimed he was driving through Arkansas from California to Georgia.

The press release indicates that many of the illegal drugs seized last year may have originated from outside of Arkansas.

Stories like these underscore that marijuanas legalization in other states has actually fueled the black market and the drug cartels rather than weakening them.

For example, California’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce seized nearly $162 million worth of illegal marijuana during the first half of 2023.

Oregon has been inundated by industrial scale marijuana cultivation sites operated illegally by organized crime and drug cartels. Some of these marijuana operations are tied to labor trafficking and violent crime.

If Arkansas had passed marijuana amendment Issue 4 in 2022, our marijuana laws arguably would be more lax than many states’.

A similar marijuana amendment is currently vying for the 2024 ballot in Arkansas right now.

Contrary to popular belief, legalization does not decrease drug-related crime, and it does not alleviate drug abuse. If anything, it seems to make these problems worse.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.