Arizona Legalized Marijuana
In November of 2020, voters approved Prop 207 making the recreational use of marijuana legal in the State of Arizona. So, that means all of you entrepreneurs who used to sell pot on the corner can now sell it legally right? WRONG! But then it must mean you can smoke pot just about anywhere without running afoul of the law, right? NOPE! Well, what the hell did the legalization of marijuana in Arizona do? More importantly, can I light up now without getting arrested? I answer those questions and more in this article but don’t worry, I’m only going to tell you how Arizona’s new marijuana law may affect you. I won’t go into legal minutia.
Arizona’s New Marijuana Law in a Nutshell
Limited possession, limited cultivation, and use of marijuana in Arizona are now legal for adults 21 and older. But the big news is, Arizona will allow some people convicted of marijuana-related crimes to petition the court to have those crimes expunged from their record (more on that later).
How Can I Use Marijuana Legally in Arizona Now?
To avoid serious criminal problems, here are a few things to remember about using marijuana in Arizona:
- Adults 21 and older can possess 1 ounce of marijuana with no more than 5 grams of it being marijuana concentrates (extracts).
- Adults 21 and older can grow up to 6 marijuana plants at their primary residence and 12 plants if two or more adults 21 and older live in the same primary residence.
- It is still illegal to use marijuana in public places (restaurants, sidewalks, parks, buses, etc.).
- The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is still working on specific regulations that are to be in place by April 5th, 2021.
- Employers can still drug test you and may fire you or not hire you if you test positive for marijuana during an employment drug screening.
- It is illegal for you to operate a vehicle, boat, airplane, or spaceship if you are even slightly impaired by marijuana. OK, I made up the spaceship part, but Arizona has a zero-tolerance rule and nasty consequences if you are found to be operating any vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
- To sell pot, you must have a dispensary license issued by the ADHS.
- Possession of more than one ounce but less than 2.5 ounces would be a petty offense.
- If you are under 21 and found in possession of any amount of pot, you would have to pay a fine (currently $100) and spend 4 hours in a really fun drug counseling for a first offense. For a second offense, you would pay a fine and spend twice as long contemplating your decisions in 8 hours of drug counseling. On a third offense, things get more serious (Class 1 misdemeanor) so let’s try to keep getting caught to less than two offenses.
- Smoking in a public place would be a petty offense so, let’s not do that. And, it is still upon in the air about the smoke invading a neighbor’s residence/apartment etc…. The invading smoke could be considered a violation of any rental contract and may be considered disorderly conduct.
I am a Little Stoned, Did You Say I Could Get My Record Expunged?
You heard that right! If you have a previous marijuana conviction, you may qualify to have your marijuana conviction expunged. Hold on, before you drop your joint, there are a few qualifiers:
- The conviction must have been for possession of less than 1oz. of pot, 1.2oz. you may be out of luck.
- If you were growing 6 plants or less in your closet for your grandmother’s glaucoma, you may be able to get a conviction expunged but 7 or more, not so much.
- You got caught bringing grandma’s bong to her nursing home because she forgot it at your place, no sweat. Convictions for possession of paraphernalia can be expunged.
Now, don’t drop your Twinkie when I tell you this, but this part of the law does not kick in until July 12, 2021. That does not mean you should wait. You will need to file a petition with the court and attend at least one court hearing to get it expunged. Because these types of convictions often affect your ability to get certain jobs or to maintain certain professional licenses, there is going to be a crush of marijuana expungement petitions filed as soon as they can, and courts are not just going to hand these out. So, it is a good idea to discuss the possibility of getting your marijuana conviction expunged with a Board-Certified Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney.
Get Your Marijuana Conviction Expunged in Arizona
With the help of an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer, Prop 207 may make it possible to clean your record by having your marijuana-related conviction expunged. You want to be ready when the time comes so that you are first in line for this new relief when it becomes available in July! Now is a good time to contact us for a free marijuana expungement evaluation. Give us a call or chat with us today to get started. Oh, and if you think that you can do this without an Arizona criminal defense attorney, you are too high to drive.