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Jenny Bloom

January 14, 2019

It is a felony to possess any amount of marijuana in the State of Arizona, except under the protections of the state’s laws. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Law allows patients with qualifying conditions to possess and use cannabis for treatment purposes. Home cultivation of medical cannabis is allowed if the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest local state-licensed dispensary.

Possessing Marijuana Laws in Arizona

All marijuana possession charges are felonies in the State of Arizona. Those convicted of possessing cannabis for personal uses may be granted probation. If so, this probation will require the offender complete 24 hours of mandatory community service. These are the other penalties these offenders face:

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• Under 2 pounds = Fine no less than $1,000 and up to the entire proceeds of the offense, plus 4 months to 2 years of incarceration

• Between 2 to 4 pounds = Fine no less than $1,000 and up to the entire proceeds of the offense, plus 6 months to 2 ½ years of incarceration

• Over 4 pounds = Fine no less than $1,000 and up to the entire proceeds of the offense, plus 1 to 3 ¾ years of incarceration

There are various other charges related to marijuana possession in the State of Arizona that come with stiff penalties:

• Knowingly possessing or using any narcotic drug = Fine between $2,000 and 3 times the value of the involved drugs (whichever is greatest), and 1 to 3 years in prison

• Knowing possessing narcotic drugs for sale = Fine between $2,000 and 3 times the value of the involved drugs (whichever is greatest), and 3 to 10 years in prison

• Knowingly possessing narcotic drug manufacturing chemicals, equipment or both = Fine between $2,000 and 3 times the value of the involved drugs (whichever is greatest), and 2 to 7 years in prison

• Transporting narcotic drug into Arizona = Fine between $2,000 and 3 times the value of the involved drugs (whichever is greatest), and 3 to 10 years in prison

• Possessing drug paraphernalia = Fine between $1,000 or fine which exhausts drug offense proceeds, and 4 months to 2 years of imprisonment

Marijuana Trafficking

Trafficking cannabis into the State of Arizona is a serious offense. These felony charges come with the following penalties:

• Less than 2 pounds trafficked into AZ = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 2 to 8 ½ years in jail – Probation may be granted, which comes with 24 hours of mandatory community service

• More than 2 pounds trafficked into AZ = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 2 to 12 ½ years in jail

Medical Marijuana Patient Possession

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The Arizona Medical Marijuana Law makes it legal for approved patients to possess and use cannabis for treatment purposes. These patients must have a qualifying condition and get a physician’s recommendation to take part in the state’s medical cannabis program. (See Using Marijuana in Arizona below for qualifying conditions)

Under the medical marijuana law of Arizona, patients are allowed possess no more than 2 ½ ounces of usable cannabis at any given time.

Selling Marijuana Laws in Arizona

It is a felony to buy cannabis in Arizona unless it’s purchased from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary by an approved patient. All others found guilty of selling cannabis in this state will face the following consequences for selling marijuana or possessing it for the purposes of selling it:

• Less than 2 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 1 to 3 ¾ years in jail – Probation may be granted, which comes with 240 hours of mandatory community service

• Between 2 to 4 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 2 to 8 ¾ years in jail

• More than 4 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 2 to 12 ½ years in jail

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State-licensed nonprofit dispensaries have the legal right to sell and dispense cannabis to patients with authorization on a not-for-profit basis.

Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana Laws in Arizona

Nonprofit state-licensed marijuana dispensaries may produce the drug on a not-for-profit basis. Those approved as qualified patients under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Law may also grow cannabis if the nearest state-licensed dispensary is more than 25 miles from their residences. These medical cannabis patients may grow no more than 12 plants at a time, which must be cultivated within a locked, enclosed facility.

There are penalties for manufacturing and growing cannabis in Arizona. These penalties are as follows:

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• Less than 2 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 6 months to 2 ½ years in jail – Probation may be granted, which comes with 240 hours of mandatory community service

• Between 2 to 4 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 1 to 3 ¾ years in jail

• More than 4 pounds = Fine between $1,000 and fine which exhausts drug proceeds, and 2 to 8 ¾ years in jail

• Manufacturing narcotic drug = Fine between $2,000 or 3 times the value of the drugs (whichever’s greatest), and 3 to 10 years in jail

Using Marijuana in Arizona

The only people who have can legally use cannabis in the State of Arizona are those with qualifying conditions. These patients must get a recommendation from a physician to participate in the Arizona medical marijuana program. Those qualifying conditions are as follows:

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PTSD

• Nausea

• Hepatitis C

• Crohn’s Disease

• Cancer

• Alzheimer’s Disease

• Cachexia or wasting syndrome

• Chronic pain

• Glaucoma

HIV or AIDS

• Persistent Muscle Spasms

Seizures

• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)

Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Arizona

In some cases, the Arizona courts may find it to be unduly harsh to sentence an offender for a felony. If so, the court may change the judgment to a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction or placed the offender on probation. Those with more than one felony conviction, or any Class 6 felony, do not qualify for deferred sentencing.

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The court will impose a minimum fine of $1,000 for first time drug offenders. Subsequent offenders face fines no less than $2,000. Fines for Class 1 misdemeanors related to drug offenses shall not exceed $2,500.

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]

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