Many states have as of late decriminalized marijuana use in the United States, including Arizona. It is advisable to be familiar with the regulations on the purchase, use, and production of the product to avoid associated penalties for violations.
In Arizona, Marijuana was first authorized in 2010 for clinical use through proposition 203, laying out the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The legislation legitimized marijuana to help terminally and seriously sick people. Such people must have a specialist’s approval and register at an approved dispensary.
The use of marijuana for recreation became lawful in the state in 2020 through proposition 207, the Safe and Smart Act. The demonstration passed with 60% of the votes cast.
In any case, there are a few limitations associated with marijuana use in the state for both clinical and recreational purposes.
You are permitted to legitimately take it recreationally provided that you are 21 years old or more. Users must also possess or plant the allowed size of marijuana or its legal derivatives as stipulated by the laws.
Public use of marijuana by both medical and adult users of marijuana is prohibited by state laws. Likewise, employers have the right to ban the use of marijuana at workplaces. Arizona also permits the prohibition of alcohol in workplaces by employers.
Marijuana Possession Laws
Marijuana users can legally possess no more than an ounce of the product. You commit a petty offense if you are found in possession of marijuana of more than one ounce to 2.5 ounces. You will face the penalty of a $300 fine for this offense.
Individuals in possession of more than 2.5 ounces but less than two pounds commit a class 6 felony punishable by incarceration of six to 18 months and a maximum fine of $150,000.
If a law enforcement officer finds you in possession of marijuana between two pounds to less than four pounds in size, you face a felony charge that can put you in prison from nine months to two years. Additionally, the court may fine you up to $150,000.
Possessing more than four pounds of marijuana can land you in prison for at least 18 months to three years. You can also be fined up to $150,000.
Sale of Marijuana
You cannot sell marijuana in Arizona except you own a business with the proper licensing and registration. The illegal sale of marijuana or its possession with intent to sell is a felony offense. The sale of fewer than two pounds of marijuana is punishable by incarceration for up to three years and no less than 18 months. A $150,000 fine can also be imposed by the court.
Defaulters that are guilty of the sale of marijuana between two to four pounds a prison sentence that may last for seven years. The lowest incarceration sentence allowed by the laws is a 4.5-year term and a fine of not more than $150,000. The sale of a quantity higher than four pounds attracts between four to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $1500,000.
Note that possessing an ounce of marijuana with intent to sell is not illegal if the seller does not get any remuneration from the transaction.
Cultivation of Marijuana
It is a felony offense to produce more than six plants of marijuana in Arizona. Only licensed and authorized businesses are allowed to cultivate the plant for commercial purposes. As an individual, you can legally produce six or fewer marijuana plants for non-commercial purposes. Offenders can go to jail for a maximum sentence of seven years and pay fines of no more than $150,000.
Trafficking of marijuana is also punishable by incarceration. Less than two pounds of the plant can result in incarceration between 2.5 years to seven years. Two pounds or more is penalized by a sentence between four to ten years. Both offenses also carry a maximum fine of $150,000.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is still a criminal offense in Arizona. However, the new laws state that it is only punishable if having THC in your system impaired your driving ability at the time of the incident. The penalty for marijuana DUI varies according to the circumstances of the incident.
Generally, the court decides on such cases on its initiative.
Use of Marijuana by Minors
Arizona laws clearly state that the recreational use of marijuana only applies to residents that are not younger than 21 years old. The possession of the plant or its derivatives by anyone younger than 21 years old is a punishable offense. A first-time violation is a civil penalty. However, offenders will face a misdemeanor charge upon subsequent convictions.
A 16% excise tax is levied on marijuana and its derivatives sold to adult consumers. However, this does not apply to all marijuana or similar products sold for medical purposes.
Medical Use of Marijuana
The clinical service of marijuana in Arizona has different laws than those governing its adult use. For instance, medical users can be of any age as long as they are eligible patients.
It is unlawful for clinical clients or the person taking care of them to buy more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis from any marijuana dispensary in two weeks or less. Patients can have 2.5 ounces of cannabis with them. They are also allowed to have twelve marijuana plants.
A limitation to clinical use is that you can neither keep nor use clinical marijuana inside the premises of a school. Similarly, its public usage is also unlawful.