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Arizona Marijuana Laws

With all the new changes throughout the country regarding medical marijuana's legality, it's hard to keep track of the various states' marijuana laws. Read on to get an overview of Arizona's marijuana laws.

Arizona Medical Marijuana Act

In 2010, voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act by a narrow margin of just over 50 percent. The citizen initiative (Proposition 203) called on the Arizona Department of Health Services to create a medical marijuana program. About 50,000 people participate in Arizona's medical marijuana program. The Medical Marijuana Act authorizes the possession and personal use of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by patients with written certification from a physician to alleviate a variety of symptoms associated with conditions (and the treatment prescribed for these conditions) such as: cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Crohn's disease, and Hepatitis C.

State Penalties for Non-Medical Marijuana Use

It is important to note that recreational use of marijuana, possession with intent to sell, possession or sale of more than 28 grams, and non-medical cultivation of marijuana are still serious crimes in Arizona.

The classification, amount of incarceration time, and amount of fines associated with marijuana drug charges in Arizona, are as follows:

Arizona Marijuana Penalties

Offense

Drug Amount

Felony Class

Incarceration Time

Fine

POSSESSION

Less than 2 lbs.

Class 6

6 months - 1.5 years

up to $150,000

2 - 4 lbs.

Class 5

9 months - 2 years

up to $150,000

4 lbs. or more

Class 4

1.5 - 3 years

up to $150,000

CULTIVATION & PRODUCTION

Less than 2 lbs.

Class 5

9 months - 2 years

up to $150,000

2 - 4 lbs.

Class 4

1.5 - 3 years

up to $150,000

4 lbs. or more

Class 3

2.5 - 7 years

up to $150,000

POSSESSION FOR SALE

Less than 2 lbs.

Class 4

1.5 - 3 years

up to $150,000

2 - 4 lbs.

Class 3

2.5 - 7 years

up to $150,000

4 lbs. or more

Class 2

4 - 10 years

up to $150,000

SALE OR DELIVERY FOR SALE

Less than 2 lbs.

Class 3

2.5 - 7 years

up to $150,000

2 lbs. or more

Class 2

4 - 10 years

up to $150,000

POSSESSION PARAPHERNALIA

N/A

Class 6

6 months - 1.5 years

up to $150,000

MARIJUANA DUI

Impaired to Slightest Degree

Misdemeanor; Felony

Varies

Varies

THC Metabolites in Blood

Misdemeanor; Felony

Varies

Varies

 

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. 

Federal Marijuana Laws

Keep in mind that although Arizona state law now legalizes medical marijuana, the federal government does not recognize a distinction between medical and non-medical marijuana -- both are treated as controlled substances (along the lines of cocaine, heroine, etc.). The federal penalties for possession and sale of marijuana are outlined in the table below:

Federal Marijuana Penalties

Offense

Drug Amount

Crime Classification

Incarceration Time

Fine

POSSESSION

1st offense - any amount

Misdemeanor

up to 1 year

$1,000

2nd offense - any amount

Misdemeanor

min. 15 days; up to 2 years

$2,500

3rd offense or more - any amount

Misdemeanor; Felony

min. 90 days; up to 3 years

$5,000

SALE

less than 50 kg.

Felony

up to 5 years

$250,000

50 - 99 kg.

Felony

up to 20 years

$1,000,000

100 - 1000 kg.

Felony

min. 5 years; up to 40 years

$2,000,000

more than 1000 kg.

Felony

10 years - life

$4,000,000

 

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the law(s) you are researching. 

More Information

If you are interested in learning more, check out Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation and Medical Marijuana Laws by State. You can also to learn more about drugs and the law, in general, by taking a look at FindLaw's section on drug charges. If you need legal advice or counsel relating to an Arizona marijuana law, you might want to consider retaining or consulting with a criminal defense attorney.

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