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Arizona Marijuana Laws: The 2020 Guide!

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Arizona Marijuana Laws: The 2020 Guide!

Is weed legal in Arizona? The Arizona cannabis laws are undoubtedly some of the harshest simply because the penalties for possession, use, and cultivation are quite hefty. Under state law recreational cannabis remains to be illegal, while medical marijuana is legal for qualifying patients. That being said, 2020 shows to be a promising year for the state when it comes to legalizing recreational pot!

Arizona Medical Cannabis Possession Laws

arizona medical marijuana laws 2020
Arizona weed laws indicate that medical marijuana remains to be legal for qualifying patients. If a patient is diagnosed with a debilitating condition and has received a physician’s approval then they can legally possess 2.5 ounces of medical pot. We gave a call to the dispensary Natures Medicines in Arizona, and was informed the limit for edibles is unlimited! Of course, this is only for medical Patients registered in Arizona. The limit for cannabis concentrate possession in Arizona is 2.5 ounces, which is much higher than most states for medical use.

Now the state has some strict regulations when it comes to at-home cultivation! Under Arizona medical marijuana laws a patient can only cultivate their own marijuana if they live greater than 25 miles away from a state-licensed dispensary. A patient can cultivate no more than 12 cannabis plants and all cannabis plants must be out of view from the public.
 
This is perhaps one of the most searched questions on Google! As of 2020, Arizona marijuana laws state that recreational marijuana is illegal. While medical marijuana is legal. Now, not all hope is lost! The Smart and Safe Arizona Act is on the ballot as an initiative this year! With over 420k signatures supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana, one can expect that complete legalization is not too far away.

Getting approved for medical marijuana is no easy task!

First, your physician needs to ensure that you have a qualifying condition. The Arizona Department of Health Services has provided interested patients with a list of what they deem are qualifying conditions. Below we have listed the main ones:

  • AIDS
  • ALS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • Hepatitis C

Now, if a disease is chronic or debilitating and causes any of the following symptoms (See below), then it is considered qualified for medical marijuana.

A disease which causes 

  • Severe repetitive nausea
  • Severe pain (chronic pain)
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Cachexia and/or wasting syndromes
  • Persistent spastic muscles 

Apply For Medical Cannabis ID In Arizona

A physician must then sign a certificate provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services. This certificate must be submitted to health services when a patient applied for a medical marijuana ID card.

Once you receive the signed medical marijuana certification from your physician, you will need to apply online for a medical marijuana ID card. The application fee is $150 and if approved your ID card will be valid for 2 years.  But, before you do so, you’ll need to:

How To Get An Arizona Medical Marijuana ID

medical dispensary in arizona

Only Medical Marijuana is legalized in Arizona as of 2020. Above is the Downtown Dispensary located in Tucson Arizona.

If you believe you have a debilitating condition that could benefit from medical marijuana then the next step is to visit a physician. A licensed physician must confirm or make a diagnosis indicating that a patient does have a qualifying condition that has been defined in the A.R.S 36-2801. The physician must explain to the patient any risks associated with medical marijuana use. 

  • Fill an online application form provided by the ADHS
  • Provide photo ID and verify that you are a citizen of the state
  • You’ll need to provide a photograph of yourself 
  • Provide a completed patient attestation form
  • Finally, some members may be required to provide a SNAP documentation

Breaking Arizona Pot Laws can have some Penalties!

Arizona pot laws have not yet legalized recreational cannabis! So, it comes with no surprise when we say that the penalties for possession, use, and cultivation can be quite harsh! Let’s break down some of the penalties for breaking the law.

  • Possession: Arizona pot laws firmly say that possession of marijuana for recreational use is illegal. Even possessing less than 2lbs of pot is classed as a felony! It is punishable by incarceration and a fine.
  • Cultivation: Under Arizona weed laws, only a medical marijuana patient is permitted to cultivate cannabis. Growing cannabis for recreational use is punishable by incarceration (between 6 months to 2.5 years) and a hefty fine of $150,000.
  • Paraphernalia: According to Arizona weed law, possessing any form of drug-related paraphernalia is a felony! It is punishable by incarceration (roughly 1 to 3.75 years) and a hefty fine of up to $150,000.

When Student Break Arizona Pot Laws

Students who are caught possessing and using marijuana are at risk of getting booked into their local County jail. According to one attorney’s website, many students often get caught for possession of marijuana paraphernalia and marijuana possession. 

Now, not all hope is lost! First time offending students can apply for a diversion whereby a student must accept a conditional guilty plea. The diversion program requires students to partake in drug and/or alcohol education programs for a given time period.

The 2020 Smart & Safe Arizona Act Could Expunge Previous Crimes.

If the Arizona weed law, Smart & Safe Act, does have a section 36-2862 which specifically addresses those who were previously convicted on marijuana possession and use. Under this provision, if a person was incarcerated or charged a fine for recreational marijuana use, possession, etc.

Then the Smart & Safe Arizona Act would petition the court to expunge these crimes as of July 12, 2021.  Now, if a person is currently pending charges for possession and use of recreational, then this too may be expunged before July 12, 2021.

We Aren’t There Yet: Is Pot Legal in Arizona?

Clearly Arizona citizens strongly support marijuana for recreational use. So we do hope that the ballot initiative does get approved, hence making recreational marijuana legal in Arizona.

The Arizona Weed Laws which Could Legalize Recreational Use In 2021!

Worry not fellow cannabis enthusiasts, Arizona cannabis laws are showing promising changes. A new initiative to legalize recreational weed is very likely to appear on the state’s ballot on November 3, 2020. Over 420,000 signatures were collected, all in approval of Smart and Safe Marijuana laws!

The ballot initiative titled Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative would actively legalize recreational use and possession of marijuana for adults. Specifically, the ballot proposes laws similar to other states where recreational weed has been legalized! Take Oregon and Colorado for example!

The Arizona Marijuana Legalization nicknamed “Smart and Safe Arizona Act” proposes the following amendment 

  • Adults over the age of 21 years old would now legally be able to possess and use recreational marijuana. 
  • Adults can possess no more than 1 ounce of useable marijuana. Now of that 1 ounce of pot in possession no more than 5 grams can be concentrates. 
  • These new Arizona pot laws would also allow adults to cultivate their own cannabis at home! One adult can legally grow 6 marijuana plants in their primary home. 
  • If you live with two or more adults (those above 21 years) who have an interest in home-grown marijuana. Then you can legally grow no more than 12 marijuana plants.
  • Similar to other states, Nevada for instance, an adult is prohibited from smoking and using marijuana in public places. This means that you cannot smoke weed on the sidewalk, parks, and even areas designated for cigarette smokers.

Arizona Weed Laws for the Win! Key Facts about Smart & Safe Arizona!

 On the ballot initiative, it states that the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services would take responsibility for not only regulating recreational marijuana, but also all aspects of licensing. This includes a tight regulation on licensing cultivation and production facilities, as well as retail stores.

Finally, it is important to mention that cannabis is still illegal under US federal law. That being said, with its legalization in Arizona an employer or property owner can prohibit the use of recreational marijuana at their private residence and at their workplace. 

Arizona Legalization News: Taxing Cannabis!

The ballot initiative proposed is strongly supported by over 420k signatures. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona, a tax of 16% would be placed on all marijuana sales. 

But, where would your tax money go?

With the legalization of recreational pot, the state is predicting that pot sales could generate a new line of revenue. The revenue generated from the 16% tax would fund public health programs, road and highway maintenance, municipal police and fire departments, and even community colleges. It’s estimated that marijuana sales would generate a total of $3 billion within the first 10 years of legalization.

Resources:
#1: https://www.azdhs.gov/licensing/medical-marijuana/index.php#faqs-cultivation
#2: https://www.naturesmedicines.com/ph/dispensaries/arizona/phoenix.html (For edible possession limits)
#3: https://dmcantor.com/blog/arizona-laws-for-legally-cultivating-marijuana

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