Wondering how much pot you can legally have in Arizona? The answer is it depends on your status. If you are the holder of a medical marijuana card issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), you are allowed to possess and use no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana. There are, however, strict regulations on where you can legally use.
If you are not a medical marijuana cardholder, possession and use of any amount of pot is illegal in Arizona. If found in possession or while using, the drug offense penalties do include jail time. You’ll need an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney to fight your case.
Possession, Use and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana
In 2010, Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which legalized medical marijuana. This allowed patients suffering from debilitating conditions such as glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, severe nausea, severe chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder to legally possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks, if they applied to ADHS and were granted medical marijuana card holder status.
The grant to use is not absolute. A cardholder is restricted to only 2.5 ounces every two weeks. Marijuana edibles such as cookies and brownies also count toward the legal limit. However, only the usable marijuana content in the edibles is measured.
This means that if you are pulled over with less than 2.5 ounces of pot in your car, the police cannot arrest you. However, if you were high on pot while driving, the police can arrest you since driving while stoned is a crime in Arizona.
As a cardholder, your employer or landlord cannot take adverse action against you on the basis of your cardholder status.
Having a medical marijuana card also means that you can legally purchase marijuana at any licensed dispensary in the state. However, you can only purchase no more than 2.5 ounces every two weeks.
If there isn’t a dispensary 25 miles from your place of residence, you can apply to grow the plant. If approved by ADHS, you can legally grow up to 12 plants in your residence. The plants should only be grown in an enclosed facility such as a greenhouse, closet room or any other securely locked area accessible to only the cardholder.
Limitations on Possession and Use of Medical Marijuana
Firstly, a cardholder cannot legally have more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. If caught with more than that amount, you will be arrested and charged.
Cardholders should only smoke in private. They are not allowed to smoke in public places such as colleges, schools, bars, bus stations, parks or in public transportation. Even smoking marijuana inside licensed dispensaries is prohibited. However, qualified patients can consume marijuana edibles in public places.
Cardholders cannot use their cardholder status to purchase or distribute marijuana to friends or family. Doing so is against the law.
Cardholders are not allowed to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
Possession and Use by Non Cardholders
For the rest of the Arizona populace, possession and use of marijuana is still a serious crime. If caught, you stand to face between six months and 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.
Do not get caught on the wrong side of the law. If you have, you need to speak with an attorney, so call us today to set up a free legal consultation!