Is Marijuana Legal in Arizona?

Arizona legalized recreational marijuana possession on November 30th 2020 under Proposition 207; however, specific guidelines exist for its possession and consumption. Possession without valid medicinal prescription remains illegal and punishable under law; it’s essential to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney should you find yourself accused of this offense in order to safeguard both your rights and future.

Arizona Marijuana Laws

Arizona laws are clear in regard to marijuana. Possession of marijuana is legal if the individual has a medical prescription from a licensed physician, or meets the criteria to legally obtain for recreational use from a dispensary. While possession laws have changed, there are still penalties for certain amounts of marijuana in your possession. 

Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Marijuana possession penalties depend on a number of factors, such as weight. Below is a summary of some of the crimes associated with weed according to amount:

Two Pounds

For less than two pounds of weed, you may receive a class 3 felony if it’s imported or transported into the state, and a class 4 felony if the substance is for sale. You may get a class 5 felony for personally produced marijuana and a class 6 felony if the substance is for personal use.

Two to Four Pounds

For possession of between two and four pounds of weed, you may get a class 2 felony if it’s imported or transported into the state, a class 3 felony for possessing the plant for sale, a class 4 charge for personally produced product, and a class 5 charge if the marijuana is for personal use.

More than Four Pounds

If you possess at least four pounds of weed, you could get a class 2 felony charge if you were selling or possessing the substance for sale. Producing this amount could lead to a class 3 charge and possessing more than four pounds for personal use is a class 4 felony crime. 

Medical Marijuana in Arizona

To obtain a medical card for cannabis in Arizona, you must be 18 or older or have a caregiver who is your legal guardian. You must have a residential address in the state and possess an Arizona ID or driver’s license. You will pay the state’s fee of $150 for a 2-year card. Then you’ll need to pay for the doctor’s appointment which is usually between $75 and $150. If you have a qualifying condition for receiving medical marijuana, you can get a prescription. 

Find a doctor who works with medical marijuana in the state and set an appointment. If you’re approved to receive a card after this appointment, the doctor will turn in the necessary documents to Health Services for you. At this point, the process is complete, and you should have your card in the mail within a couple weeks. If your doctor doesn’t submit your forms for you, you must get a Physician Certification Form from them and turn it in yourself.

Which Medical Conditions Qualify?

To get a prescription for medical marijuana, you must have one of these conditions: 

  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures 
  • Severe nausea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Hepatitis C
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s 
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome

If you have a debilitating or chronic medical condition or disease, or your treatment for a condition or disease causes persistent or severe muscle spasms, you may also be able to get a medical marijuana card. 

How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Possess? 

Arizona medical marijuana patients and designated caregivers can possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana every 14 days without incurring criminal charges; any amount beyond this threshold could result in criminal prosecution. Please keep in mind, though, that possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law regardless of its medical uses.

Recreational Marijuana in Arizona

Proposition 207 was passed during the 2020 general election and legalizes recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, permitting them to possess up to one ounce and grow six plants for personal use at home. Furthermore, this law establishes a regulatory framework allowing licensed dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis products with an excise tax of 16% being levied upon sales.

FAQs on Marijuana in Arizona

Below are some commonly asked questions regarding marijuana laws in this state:

Q: How much weed is required to get a felony charge? 

If you don’t have a medical marijuana card, or do not qualify to purchase recreational marijuana, any amount of marijuana can lead to a felony charge. The class of felony will depend on the specific details regarding the weed you had in your possession.

Q: How much does it cost to buy medical marijuana?

Prices typically range between $30 to $60 for an eighth of an ounce; however, prices can go as high as $60 depending on market demand, potency and availability. Patients with medical marijuana cards also incur a 16% excise tax that must be included as part of the purchase price.  

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 418-4281 to discuss your case today.

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