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An Overview of AZ Marijuana Laws


Arizona has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. The possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana is strictly regulated by both federal and state law. While the use and possession of marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes with a valid prescription, its personal and recreational use is still prohibited in all forms throughout the state.

What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in AZ?

The possession of marijuana without a valid prescription is a felony offense in Arizona. Penalties for marijuana possession will vary depending on the amount of the substance found on a person at the time of their arrest, the defendant’s number of prior offenses, and whether or not they were charged with the intent to sell.

Penalties for marijuana possession are as follows:

  • Less than 2 lbs: up to 2 years in prison
  • Between 2 lbs and 4 lbs: up to 2 ½ years in prison
  • 4 lbs or more: Up to 3.75 years in prison

In addition to prison time, a marijuana possession conviction can carry up to $150,000 in fines. Possession of drug paraphernalia is similarly prohibited, carrying up to two years in prison and expensive fines upon conviction.

Marijuana Drugged Driving Laws in AZ

Arizona has a per se drugged driving law in effect which prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while a person is under the influence of a substance that impairs their physical or mental faculties, or while a person has any detectable level of an illicit drug in their body. In other words, a person can be charged with drugged driving simply for having marijuana in their system, regardless of whether or not they were impaired.

A drugged driving conviction can carry the following consequences:

  • First offense: At least 10 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,250.
  • Second offense: At least 90 days in jail and a minimum fine of $3,000.
  • Third or subsequent offense: At least four months in prison and fines up to $150,000.

In addition to the above consequences, a drugged driving conviction can carry a lengthy driver’s license suspension, mandatory participation in a drug treatment program, installation of an ignition interlock device, probation, or forfeiture of vehicle. Penalties can increase if a minor under age 15 was present in the vehicle at the time of arrest.

Charged with a Marijuana Crime? Call (480) 418-0776

If you have been charged with any sort of marijuana crime, the Mesa drug crime lawyers at Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys are prepared to fight for your freedom and maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation. Having successfully defended countless accused clients throughout Arizona and earned a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating for our unmatched advocacy, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.

Schedule a free consultation today to get started towards building your defense.

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