August 15, 2016
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office added a Poll to the homepage of its website a few months ago. Several topics have been listed and it has proven to be a popular feature. The latest Sheriff’s On-Line Poll had the most response to any of the polls to date. 2039 unique persons responded to this Poll and were asked the question: What percentage of people in Arkansas Prisons are there because of being convicted of Marijuana?
Respondents were giving 9 choices ranging from more than 50% to less than 1 %. (See attached photo for percentage breakdown) Most Polls are strictly opinion however this particular Poll was based upon factual data. After the respondent made their choice, the correct answer was displayed.
Of the 2039 respondents the top three answers were:
26.5% thought more than 50% were in prison for a Marijuana conviction 13.6% thought 40% 13.4% thought 30%
The results were actually not surprising. With the prison and jail overcrowding issues that have faced Arkansas over the past couple of years, many people have commented and complained about bed space being taken up by those that had been arrested and convicted for Marijuana. Proponents to legalize Marijuana have used the argument of prison overcrowding as one of their reasons. This Poll, while not scientific certainly shows the misconception by people of those who are in prison and their conviction.
The correct answer is that less than 1/10th of 1% are in prison for Marijuana Convictions.
The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank all of those who responded to this educational Poll. We welcome questions and comments.
Sheriff John Montgomery