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:
Note: The Arizona Department of Health Services (www.azdhs.gov) 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:
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.