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Medical Marijuana Arizona Law Update May 2010

Medical Marijuana Arizona Law Update May 2010




Fines and Penalties for medical Marijuana use in Arizona

Phoenix Marijuana (Pot) Defense Attorney

Under current Federal Law, the use, sale or possession of marijuana (pot), paraphernalia, whether medically prescribed or not, it is still unlawful and carries significant criminal penalties in Arizona. This may change after Arizona voters go to the polls in November 2, 2010 to vote on a popular Medical Marijuana initiative.  In the mean-time, criminal charges related to medical marijuana remain a serious offense in Arizona. Currently, there is no distinction in penalties for using medical Marijuana v Marijuana for non-medical or recreational use. As is with DUI charges, Arizona has some of the toughest laws against Marijuana in the Country, even for simple possession.

For now, below are the penalties for Marijuana Possessionin Arizona whether for medical use non-medical use. The Arizona Drug charge classification for a marijuana offense depends mostly on how much of the substance is found in your possession.   If the amount of marijuana is: Then the potential sentence is: Less than 2 pounds (not for sale)                         1 year in prison (Class 6 felony) Between 2 and 4 pounds (not for sale)                1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony) More than 4 pounds (not for sale)                        2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony) Less than 2 pounds (intent to sell)                        2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony) Between 2 and 4 pounds (intent to sell)               3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony) More than 4 pounds (intent to sell)                       5 years in prison (Class 2 felony)  Less than 2 pounds (that you produced)               1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony) 2-4 pounds (that you produced)                            2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony) More than 4 pounds (that you produced)              3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony) Less than 2 pounds (transporting into AZ)           3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony) More than 2 pounds (transporting into AZ)          5 years in prison (Class 2 felony In addition to prison time to your Arizona Marijuana drug sentencing, you will face large fines for your marijuana conviction. The minimum fine you will pay is $750. However, if the value of the marijuana you were caught with exceeds $750, your fine will equal 3 times that amount, not exceeding $150,000.

Due to the fact that Marijuana is legal with restrictions and limitations in 14 other states, many people either view medical marijuana charges as possibly legal or in the least minor criminal charges. However, Arizona law and its prosecution do not view it this way. You may be facing a life changing incarceration and high dollar fines depending on how much was found in your possession.  So for now, in Arizona, if you wish to use medical Marijuana or non-medical Marijuana, you have at these three options:

1)      Use medical Marijuana if you have no other medicinal alternative. But at least understand   the extreme risks and harsh penalties, fines and incarceration that still exist in Arizona as a consequence as of this date.


2)      Consult your Physician about the possibility of using alternative treatments or medications for relief of your medical symptoms, at least temporarily; wait until after November 2, 2010, when Arizona Voters go to the polls.  Perhaps new Medical Marijuana Laws will be passed in favor of qualified use of medical Marijuana to help relieve the symptoms of your medical condition or illness.


3)      Move to any of the following 14 States who have laws either broad or limited legalization of medical Marijuana:

Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, NewJersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington. All 14 states do require proof of residency in their respective state as a qualifying factor to use medical Marijuana.

The most important thing you can do if you face of Marijuana possession, use, or sale charges or any other type of drug charges in Arizonais to contact an Experienced Arizona Drug Defense Attorney who will defend Arizona Marijuana drug charges and protect your constitutional rights.

Arizona DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney. Owner of Law Office of James E. Novak. I practice Criminal Defense, with 80% of my cases being DUI. I am a Former Criminal & DUI Prosecutor in Maricopa County.

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