Is Marijuana Legal in Arizona?

Marijuana is illegal in the state of Arizona, unless it’s been officially prescribed for medicinal purposes. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2010 and is now available for those who meet specific requirements. But keep in mind that marijuana possession is still punishable by law for those who don’t possess a prescription. 

If you’ve been accused of possession, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney to protect your future.

Arizona Marijuana Laws

Marijuana possession laws are clear in Arizona, and state that you aren’t allowed to knowingly use or possess the substance. You also may not sell, transfer, transport, or produce marijuana, and each of these behaviors fall under the definition of “possession.” If you’ve been legally prescribed the substance for a medical condition, you may use the drug as directed. However, any “usable” quantity of marijuana is considered criminal for those who don’t have this permission. 

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, though if you’re on SNAP (food stamps), the price is $75. 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?

The answer to how much marijuana you can legally possess in Arizona depends on your medical cardholder status. If you have a medical marijuana card from ADHS (the Arizona Department of Health Services), you may possess 2.5 ounces of weed or less. Keep in mind that there are regulations for where you’re allowed to use it, even if you can legally do so.

Recreational Marijuana in Arizona

Marijuana legalization will likely happen quite soon in Arizona. The Arizona Cannabis Chamber of Commerce is a small group of industry representatives for marijuana and aims to make sure the recreational market for marijuana isn’t dominated by the same large-scale dispensaries in control of the medical marijuana program in the state. 

But the organization (also known as AZC3) may have a difficult time with this. They must convince most of the state legislature (which is Republican-led) to say yes to get a proposal approved for the ballot. 

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? 

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 weed is sold by dispensaries?

Dispensaries sold around 56 tons of weed in 2018 alone and 5 tons of products containing the substance (including edible items).

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

There isn’t a very consistent price point for medical marijuana as it varies widely according to the strain. You may pay $8 for a gram and around $300 for an ounce, on average.  

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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