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Are Arkansas Pizza Parlors Fronts for the Pot Trade?


February 1993

As the headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune suggested, "Hold the oregano, or, maybe don't."

The next time you plan to cook Italian in Arkansas, think twice about carrying home oregano for your sauce. Under a bill introduced in the state legislature, possession of "counterfeit" marijuana, including oregano packaged in plastic baggies such as those used to sell marijuana, could become a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Arkansas Deputy Attorney General Jack Gillean explained circumstances in which someone might be charged if the bill becomes law. "If the police found someone who was involved in the [drug] trade and they happen to be in possession of oregano packaged that way, clearly conditions would be met. He is going to have to convince police he is making a big pot of spaghetti or something."

[Note: On February 25, 1993, Denis Peron (Proposition P, San Francisco), Sandee Burbank (Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse), Peter Gorman (High Times), Sam Smith (Arkansas) and Eric Sterling were seen eating in a Little Rock, Arkansas pizzeria after delivering information on drug policy and medical marijuana to Joycelyn Elders, M.D.]