Little Rock survey finds support for pardons, split on Issue 4 October 21, 2022 By Griffin Coop Little Rock business and community leaders overwhelmingly believe Governor Hutchinson or his successor should pardon low-level marijuana offenses but are split on Issue 4, according to a survey released Friday. The survey of influential members of the Little Rock community comes from Power Poll, a Nashville, Tennessee, company that performs similar surveys in cities across the country. The survey found that 75% of respondents believe Hutchinson or his successor should pardon people with minor possession offenses. President Biden announced Oct. 6 that he would pardon federal simple possession offenses and urged governors to do the same at the state level. We reported last week on a poll that found 65% of Americans support Biden’s pardons. Governor Hutchinson said in a statement on Oct. 6 that he would not follow suit at the state level. Hutchinson reiterated his position in his weekly address last Friday and explained his opposition to other marijuana policy changes announced by Biden. The Power Poll survey also found 41% of respondents favor Issue 4, 41% of respondents oppose Issue 4 and 18% said they were not sure. The measure would legalize marijuana in Arkansas for adults 21 and older, increase the number of cultivators to 20 and increase the number of dispensaries to 120. The measure is backed by the Arkansas cannabis industry and opposed by three committees that have drawn contributions from two wealthy Republican donors. Arkansas cannabis advocate Melissa Fults has joined forces with opposition leader Jerry Cox but has drawn criticism from the Arkansas cannabis industry. In a third question, more than half of the respondents found that marijuana is no more harmful than drinking a beer. According to the results, 52% of respondents said they believe marijuana is similar to having a beer and 10% said the drug has profound health benefits. Another 29% said the drug isn’t harmless but shouldn’t land people in jail either. Only 8% said marijuana is dangerous and should be penalized. The Power Poll is hardly a scientific survey. It was sent to some 600 people and 49 responded to these questions. The poll doesn’t reveal who — beyond “powerful, influential” people — gets the questions or answers.