Possession of Marijuana in Arizona (ARS 13-3405)

Learn what you can do about a marijuana possession charge in Arizona.


While many of the statutes and laws in Arizona are complex, the laws regarding possession of marijuana in Arizona are clear. You can’t knowingly use or possess marijuana, for your own use or for sale. This, of course, does not refer to those who are lawfully able to use or possess marijuana for medical purposes.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a common charge also associated with marijuana possession charges, while other drugs, like narcotics, can lead to possession of a dangerous drug charges.

To get help with your drug charge, fill out the form to the right, or call our team at (480) 467-4370.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Arizona (A.R.S. 13-3405)

There are essentially four laws that govern the use and possession of marijuana in Arizona (ARS 13-3405). They state that marijuana cannot be:

  • Used or possessed
  • Possessed in order to sell
  • Produced
  • Transported within, or imported into, Arizona

The penalties for marijuana possession are determined by several factors, including the weight of the marijuana possessed. The statutes divide penalties into three categories: under two pounds, two to four pounds, or over four pounds.

So how much weed is a felony in Arizona? As it stands, any amount can be a felony charge, and the felony class depends on the circumstances of your case.

Possession of under two pounds of marijuana can be a:

  • Class 6 felony if it’s found to be for personal use
  • Class 4 felony if it’s for sale
  • Class 5 felony if it was personally produced
  • Class 3 felony if it’s transported or imported into Arizona

Possession of two to four pounds of marijuana can be a:

  • Class 5 felony if it’s for personal use
  • Class 3 felony if it’s for sale
  • Class 4 felony if it was personally produced
  • Class 2 felony if it’s transported or imported into Arizona

Possession of four or more pounds of marijuana can be a:

  • Class 4 felony if it’s for personal use
  • Class 2 felony if it’s for sale
  • Class 3 felony if it was personally produced
  • Class 2 felony if it’s transported or imported into Arizona

Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Arizona

Fortunately, marijuana possession drug offenses can often be reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor with the help of an effective Mesa criminal lawyer. Additionally, you may be able to attend a diversion or education program, and if completed, you may have the charge dismissed altogether.

When you participate in a diversion drug, you’ll typically have to submit to drug tests to ensure that you don’t continue to use marijuana. Once the program is completed successfully, you have the opportunity to have the charge dismissed.

Arizona Proposition 200 prohibits first- and second-time nonviolent drug offenders being sentenced to jail time, which means that you may only face incarceration after three convictions. If there are other charges involved, however, this will affect your sentence and potential incarceration time.

In addition to a diversion program, you’ll likely be placed on probation, which has similar terms of sobriety as the program you enter. You may be required to also pay fees and surcharges, or complete community service hours as assigned by the court.

One of the most common diversion programs is known as TASC, which is run by the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. TASC – short for Treatment Assessment Screening Centers – is a nonprofit that provides drug testing to first-time offenders as part of a larger diversion program. If this option is available to you, it may incur additional expenses, but

Other Factors to Consider

In Arizona, there must be a “usable” amount of marijuana present in order to be charged with possession. If it can be demonstrated that there was not a usable amount, you may be able to avoid the charges.

However, the same law does not apply to drug paraphernalia. If your possession charge also included a paraphernalia charge, but the object in question doesn’t have any usable amount of marijuana, you can still be charged with paraphernalia possession.

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Do You Need Your Possession Charge Reduced?

If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession in Arizona, a resourceful defense can work to get your charge dismissed or reduced to the minimum penalties. Even if you’re a first-time offender, navigating your course is complex, and without help, you could quickly lose your chances of success in court.

Let the Mesa defense lawyers of JacksonWhite Law help minimize the impact of your drug possession charges today.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call our criminal defense team today at (480) 467-4370.

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