By: Max Nicholas Hanson, Esq.
The use and possession of marijuana has become seemingly more acceptable
in today’s society with a number of states, including Arizona, now
allowing the use of medical marijuana and several others including the
neighboring states of Colorado and now California recently having legalized
even recreational use.
The prevalence of marijuana in today’s culture promotes the concept
of “it’s just marijuana, no big deal!” Unfortunately,
although society’s attitudes toward marijuana may be changing rapidly,
Arizona law has not in large part. Just last month, Arizona voters rejected
a proposition seeking to expand legalizing recreational use of marijuana
in this state. Possession or use of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia,
even in minimal amounts, is still considered a
felony criminal offense in the State of Arizona and the courts will and do prosecute
Medical marijuana may be legal in Arizona; however, such use is heavily
regulated and is still subject to the existing federal prohibition against
the use and possession of marijuana in any form or fashion. This conflict
poses a threat to those people who are allowed to use marijuana legally
as even though you may have permission by the State of Arizona or have
a prescription administered by another state to use marijuana, those prescriptions
may not be valid outside of your particular state and are not recognized
under federal law. For example, marijuana legally obtained in Colorado,
through a prescription or otherwise, is not transferable over state lines
and may subject you to criminal charges in Arizona for its transportation,
possession or use.
In Arizona, possession of marijuana, in any amount, is a felony punishable
by a sentence which can range from probation to between 1 to 5 years in
the state penitentiary and up to $150,000 in fines depending on the amount
and circumstances involved. Moreover, a felony conviction can result in
the loss of your civil rights such as the right to vote, have and own
a firearm, and hinder your ability to obtain future employment.
If you or a loved one are charged with a criminal offense involving marijuana,
you should seek legal counsel immediately as alternative or diversion
programs may be available depending on the facts and circumstances involved.
With proper legal representation, it may be possible to get your charges
dismissed upon the successful completion of a program that involves drug
testing and education.
OWENS & PERKINS we are aggressive in our defense of you against any and all criminal charges.
To learn more about what our experienced attorneys may be able to do for
you concerning criminal charges that you may be facing please call us
at (480) 630-2464 for a free 30 minute consultation.