The Truth Separated from the Myths on Marijuana
Marijuana has become seemingly more acceptable with the recent changes surrounding the use of medical marijuana in Arizona as well as in other states. The prevalence of marijuana in today’s culture promotes the concept of, “it’s no big deal!” Unfortunately, although society’s attitudes toward marijuana may be changing, the law has not. Possession or use of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia, even in minor amounts, is still considered a felony criminal offense in the State of Arizona and the courts will and do prosecute offenders accordingly.
Medical marijuana programs may be legal in Arizona and other states; however, they still operate in a “grey area”. State laws for medical patients do allow the use of marijuana for specified medical reasons under the care and treatment of a licensed physician, but federal law still prohibits the use in any way. This conflict of interest poses a threat even to those people who are allowed to use marijuana legally. 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. Additionally, based on current interpretations by Arizona law enforcement, obtaining or distributing marijuana even as a medical caregiver may not make you exempt. You could still subject you to criminal felony charges for possession, transportation, or sale of an illegal drug.
In Arizona, possession of marijuana, in any amount, is a felony punishable by a sentence of up anywhere between 1 to 5 years a state penitentiary and up to $150,000 in fines depending on the amount and circumstances involved. Moreover, conviction of a felony can result in the loss of your civil rights such as the right to vote and bear arms and can even hinder your ability to obtain future employment.
If charged with an offense involving marijuana, you should seek legal counsel immediately as alternative or diversion programs may be available to you depending on the facts and circumstances involved. With proper legal representation, it may be possible to get your charges dismissed upon the completion of a program that involves drug testing and education.
At Owens & Perkins, we are aggressive in our defense of you against criminal charges and will investigate every aspect of your case, from interviewing witnesses to reviewing all of the physical evidence gathered by the police. Our attorneys will evaluate the strength of your case and develop any and all potential defenses to the charges against you.