Is Weed Legal In Arizona?

is weed legal in arizona

Is Weed Legal In Arizona?

Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since 2010. However, in 2020, residents voted in favor of Proposition 207 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Although weed is now legal in our state, smoking, buying, selling, and growing weed has many limitations. Continue reading to learn more about Arizona’s marijuana laws. 

What is Proposition 207?

Proposition 207 was on Arizona’s general election ballot in November 2020. This proposition, also known as “the Smart and Safe Arizona Act” called for the “legalization, taxation, and recreational use of cannabis” for those over the age of 21. Because around 60% of Arizona residents voted “yes” on Prop 207, weed officially became legal in Arizona in November 2020. 

What are the limits on using weed in Arizona?

Arizona’s laws restrict the use of weed in several ways. For instance, the legalization of marijuana does not affect your employer’s right to prohibit you from using marijuana while working. 

Only adults 21 and over are legally allowed to use and possess marijuana recreationally, and it is illegal to distribute marijuana to anyone under the age of 21. Registered patients of any age with a medical cannabis card can also legally use marijuana, and have recently been allowed to use medical marijuana on college campuses

Just like with alcohol, driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal, and may result in a DUI charge in Arizona. However, police can no longer perform a search of your vehicle, home, or person without a warrant if they smell marijuana. 

It is illegal to smoke marijuana in any public place or open space in Arizona, and doing so is considered a petty offense. However, it is legal to consume edibles in public.

How much weed can you legally possess in Arizona? 

There are also limitations to the amount of weed you can legally possess in Arizona. Adults over 21 can legally possess one ounce of marijuana, five grams of which may be in the form of marijuana concentrate. Registered medical patients can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. 

Anyone caught in possession of any amount of marijuana in any form while under 21 could be charged with a civil penalty (first offense), petty offense (second offense), or a class 1 misdemeanor (third offense). 

The penalties for possessing more than the legal amount of marijuana are as follows:

  • If you are not a registered patient and possess more than one ounce but less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana or over 5 grams but less than 12.5 grams of concentrate, it is a petty offense that could earn a fine of up to $300. 
  • If you possess between 2.5 ounces and 2 pounds of marijuana, it becomes a class 6 felony. The penalty is 6 months to 1.5 years in prison. 
  • Possessing 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana is a class 5 felony, which could land you 9 months to 2 years in prison. 
  • Possessing more than 4 pounds of marijuana earns 1.5 to 3 years in prison. 

Each of the felony charges can result in mandatory community service and up to $150,000 in fines. 

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Arizona?

While you can legally grow weed for personal use in Arizona, there are certain restrictions. For instance, you must be at least 21 years old, and you can’t grow as many plants as you please. If you are the only adult in the home, then you can grow up to six marijuana plants. If there are two or more adults in the home, then you can grow up to twelve plants.

Medical cannabis cardholders and designated caregivers may cultivate up to 12 plants each. But the plants must not be visible to the public.  

Is buying or selling weed legal in Arizona?

Adults over 21, medical cannabis cardholders, and registered caregivers can legally purchase marijuana in Arizona. However, it must be from a nonprofit, state-licensed dispensary. It is illegal for individuals to sell marijuana. It is also illegal to purchase an amount that would result in possession of more weed than the legal limit. In Arizona, dispensaries are limited to one retail location for every ten registered pharmacies.

Can a marijuana charge be expunged?

If you or someone you know has been charged with a marijuana criminal offense before weed became legal in Arizona, the conviction might qualify for expungement. Marijuana offenses that could be expunged include:

  • The possession, consumption, or transportation of 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana with less than 12.5 grams of marijuana concentrate
  • The transportation, possession, or use of marijuana paraphernalia
  • The cultivation, possession, or transportation, of six or fewer marijuana plants for personal use

Drug Defense Lawyer in Arizona

If you are facing a marijuana charge, don’t hesitate to contact the trusted criminal defense lawyers at Van Norman Law in Scottsdale. Arizona’s marijuana laws are complex and may seem overwhelming. We’ll help you understand your rights and expertly guide you through the best defense strategies for your case. Call 480-481-0616 today to schedule a free consultation. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/1/2022). Photo by manish panghal on Unsplash