Medical Marijuana Law Arizona




In 2010 Arizona voters narrowly passed Proposition 203, which allowed the compassionate use of medical marijuana by patients with chronic and debilitating conditions. In order to pass, a ballot measure must receive over 50% of the votes. Prop. 203 received just 50.13%, narrowly allowing medical marijuana to come to the Grand Canyon State. While the penalties for recreational use/possession of marijuana in Arizona remain strict, the passing of Prop. 203 allowed residents with severe ailments to finally be able to receive the help and medication they need. Actually, Arizona is one of the few states that allows medical marijuana patients from other states to obtain their medication at any dispensary in Arizona, when they are visiting. The following medical conditions allow an individual in Arizona to receive a prescription for medical marijuana, with the authorization of a licensed and state-sanctioned doctor:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • CWD
  • Cachexia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Severe Nausea
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Note: The Arizona Department of Health Services ( may approve certain other chronic and debilitating conditions that are not on the above list.


    Arizona state law dictates that patients, or caregivers for patients, may not legally have over 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana on their person, at any time. Additionally they are allowed to grow 12 plants. The law states that these plants must be in a locked and enclosed facility, however fails to specify what "enclosed" means. Some translate this to mean surrounded on 4 sides, such as a backyard with a fence. Others take this to mean inside a house, such as an indoor grow room. One stipulation in the legal cultivation of cannabis by medical marijuana patients is if the patient lives within a 25-mile radius of a dispensary, they will not be allowed to grow their own medication. Only patients outside this radius will be permitted to cultivate their medication at home.

    For more information or any questions regarding the Arizona medical marijuana program, individuals are encouraged to contact the following agency:

  • Arizona Department of Health Services
  • 150 North 18th Avenue #320
  • Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • (602)-542-1025

    While the laws governing the use, possession and cultivation of legal medical marijuana in Arizona may be somewhat lax, the laws that dictate recreational use are anything but lax. In fact, all charges of marijuana in Arizona - no matter how small an amount - result in a felony and a $750 fine.

    Possession of less than 2 pounds of cannabis can result in anywhere from 4 months incarceration to 2 years. Possessing 2 to 4 pounds holds a maximum penalty of 2.5 years, while anything over 4 pounds can result in 1 to 3.75 years imprisonment.

    Authorities in Arizona definitely look down upon the sale of cannabis. The sale of any amount under 2 pounds can result in 1 to 3.75 years in a state prison. 2 to 4 pounds holds a penalty of 2 to 8.75 years and for somewhat caught selling over 4 pounds of marijuana, they can lose up to 12.5 years of their life to a prison.

    The cultivation (manufacture as the state calls it) of less than 2 pounds of cannabis has a 6-month to 2.5-year penalty. Growing 2 to 4 pounds can result in 1 to 3.75 years in prison and anything over 4 pounds has a maximum penalty of 8.75 years imprisonment.

    Hash and other concentrates (such as kief and edibles) are not weighed to figure out a suitable penalty. Instead, penalties for concentrates are separated into two categories: possession and manufacture/distribution. Simple possession is a felony offense that can land a person in prison for 1 to 3 years and holds a $2,000 fine. Manufacture or distribution is also a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars and a $2,000 fine.

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    Guest | Nov 26, 2013
    under federal law no one should be smoking marijuana at all. so its kind of a moot point about any firearm laws.
    Guest | Jul 29, 2013
    Just a quick mention in reference to the "right to bear arms" comment above. Any MMJ patient automatically loses this right the second you become a patient, under federal law. So if you're a patient, don't get caught with ANY firearm, or you may lose your freedom. There are groups trying to get this reversed, however, with current gun sentiments, this may be a long, arduous journey.
    Guest | Aug 18, 2012
    WE Have Afirmitve Defence ARS 36 28:12 in the law here The state health dept. doesn't even show this on there web stite look up chapter 12 of the state law on there web site, its not there. our Afrim. Def. States we can grow at home,have and grow as much as we need to keep patients supplied with enough medical marijuana so we wont run out plus we have employment protection and renters house protection aswell. The cops only take the health dept state ID mmj card as real proof though they will arrest you and make you prove your case in court that means JAIL and they will take your MMJ Out Of Staters with there states medical card real state cards ar leagal patients here in AZ too but they can't use the dispencarys 25 miles rule is out with Afrim DEF.ARS 36 28 12
    Guest | Apr 30, 2012
    The laws are still really tight but they might loosen up. I know of a dispensary trying to open, and although things may look promising, we are not holding our breath. I work at a smoke shop in chino valley, az and we educate anyone that needs educated. I read the laws and there are a lot of different opinions right now, especially since the gun law is under scrutiny now (what a crock of shit). The right to bear arms.....need i say more.
    allen | Apr 25, 2012
    hey what are the numbers for the az collective i like to be rude hehehehe how about that obama liying to us and voted for hem
    Guest | Nov 8, 2011
    Az collective, what's with these guys? When they do answer the phone, they're rude & of little or no help. They say they'll call but don't. Bet that would be different if they didn'thave a monopoly!!!
    Guest | Sep 6, 2011
    to strict in arizona.
    lindzzz | May 9, 2011
    I hope that they see a necessity to change the part about not being allowed to grow if you live within 25 miles of the clinics. What if you live by one but you can't drive? Or you need a larger amount and it saves money to grow for yourself?
    | Apr 1, 2011
    what...arizonas allowed to have twelve plants..not fair to cali. We need to make a federal law, not limiting any regulation of amount grown
    SkillitHits247 | Mar 30, 2011
    true that, PhilosopherOG; however sometimes the tighter regulations can really be better for the community that way the people who are against the new marijuana law the strict regulations help keep these two different communities separate and less exposed to each other, which is actually better for the cultivators because you never want to expose your garden to avoid the risk of getting jacked by the feds and thieves. Not only that but like you say greed becomes involved one way or another but maybe we will see a difference between the way Arizona law operates and other states, only time will tell.
    PhilosopherOG | Mar 13, 2011
    although these regulations seem too strict, they are just trying to kee p a handle on things so the aren't over wrought with fraud and dispensary greed as well as dispensary temptation to make profits by cutting legal corners for "would be" patients. dispensaries and collectives are so new that I suspect there will be many styles of administration from private to public an state run institutions. I guess eventually a standard model may emerge if there is one best way to run the industry. But then again state laws have always varied depending on the climate of a specific state, city or regions attitude.