Because medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, many people have misconceptions about the state’s marijuana laws. There appears to be some confusion with some of the marijuana laws in Arizona, including laws governing medical marijuana licenses and marijuana crimes. Our Arizona criminal defense lawyers provide the truth for you to seven myths about marijuana possession.
Marijuana Myth Number 1: You cannot be fired for using marijuana if you have a medical marijuana license.
An employer cannot take adverse action based solely on the fact that you have a medical marijuana license. However, you can be fired if you are under the influence of marijuana or you are in possession of marijuana at work even if you have a medical marijuana license.
Marijuana Myth Number 2: You cannot be charged with DUI if you have a medical marijuana license.
A medical marijuana license does not give you a pass for driving under the influence of drugs. If marijuana impairs your ability to drive, you can be charged with DUI. Experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers can help you build a case to show that your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was not impaired by the amount of marijuana in your system.
Marijuana Myth Number 3: A medical marijuana license allows you to possess marijuana anywhere.
A revision of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2012 made it illegal to possess marijuana while on college campuses, school buses, school grounds, and correctional facilities. You also cannot smoke marijuana in public places.
Marijuana Myth Number 4: Marijuana charges are always misdemeanors.
While some prosecutors use discretion in determining whether to charge someone with a misdemeanor marijuana offense, some marijuana charges can be felony charges. For example, if you are arrested with under two pounds of marijuana in your possession, you could face a Class 6 felony marijuana charge. Even though a Class 6 felony may be the least severe felony charge, it remains a felony charge on your criminal record. However, if the marijuana was transported into Arizona from another location, you could be charged with a Class 3 felony.
A felony conviction can have severe, long-term negative consequences. Our experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers can help you fight to have your marijuana charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
Marijuana Myth Number 5: You will always go to jail for a first-time marijuana offense.
If you are a nonviolent offender, Arizona Proposition 200 states that you will not be sentenced to jail time for first and second-time offenses. However, for a third offense marijuana charge, you can face jail time. In addition, if you are charged with other drug crimes in addition to the possession charge, you could face jail time for those charges even if the possession charge is a first of second offense.
Marijuana Myth Number 6: Any amount of marijuana results in a criminal charge.
No, this is not true. To be charged with possession of marijuana, you must have a “usable” amount of marijuana in your possession. Our Arizona criminal defense lawyers can help you argue that the amount of marijuana was not “usable” and your charges should be dismissed.
Marijuana Myth Number 7: Medical marijuana licenses allow you to purchase marijuana whenever you desire.
No, the law limits the amount of medical marijuana you can purchase. Under the law, you can only purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days.
Contact Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers for More Information
If you have questions about Arizona’s marijuana laws or you have been charged with a marijuana crime, contact our law firm to speak with one of our experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers.