With the passage of Proposition 207 in 2020, it is now legal for people aged 21 and older to possess, cultivate, and consume marijuana in Arizona. However, the state’s marijuana laws are complex and the recreational use is strictly regulated. If you are discovered under the influence, or with drugs on or near you, you will may be charged with drug possession.
The penalties are determined by different circumstances including the weight of the marijuana possessed, prior criminal history, and whether you are being charged for personal-use, simple possession, or possession with intent to sell.
The penalties depend on the felony class where your offense falls under. You may refer to the following chart for the classification and the corresponding penalties:
|Offense||Drug Amount||Felony Class||Incarceration Time||Fine|
|POSSESSION||Less than 2 lbs.||Class 6||6 months – 1.5 years||up to $150,000|
|2 – 4 lbs.||Class 5||9 months – 2 years||up to $150,000|
|4 lbs. or more||Class 4||1.5 – 3 years||up to $150,000|
|CULTIVATION & PRODUCTION||Less than 2 lbs.||Class 5||9 months – 2 years||up to $150,000|
|2 – 4 lbs.||Class 4||1.5 – 3 years||up to $150,000|
|4 lbs. or more||Class 3||2.5 – 7 years||up to $150,000|
|POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO SELL||Less than 2 lbs.||Class 4||1.5 – 3 years||up to $150,000|
|2 – 4 lbs.||Class 3||2.5 – 7 years||up to $150,000|
|4 lbs. or more||Class 2||4 – 10 years||up to $150,000|
|SALE OR DELIVERY FOR SALE||Less than 2 lbs.||Class 3||2.5 – 7 years||up to $150,000|
|2 lbs. or more||Class 2||4 – 10 years||up to $150,000|
|POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA||N/A||Class 6||6 months – 1.5 years||up to $150,000|
|DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA||Impaired to Slightest Degree||Misdemeanor; Felony||Varies||Varies|
|THC Metabolites in Blood||Misdemeanor; Felony||Varies||Varies|
After Arizona passed Proposition 200, judges can no longer send first or second-time nonviolent drug offenders to prison until their third conviction. However, If there are other charges involved, your sentence and penalties will be affected.
You may also opt to attend a diversion or drug education program that, once completed, may help dismiss the charge altogether. A diversion program will require you to submit drug tests to make sure that you have stopped using marijuana. The standard sentence is a term of probation and mandatory drug treatment. However, if probation is violated, a jail term can be imposed. The court may also impose community service hours on you. You may also be required to pay fees and surcharges.
Being charged with drug possession does not automatically end in conviction. An experienced Arizona criminal lawyer may raise a variety of defenses that can help in reducing your AZ marijuana possession felony to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If you are facing charges of marijuana possession in Arizona, seeking legal advice from our competent lawyers is the first step. We will review the circumstances of your case and build up the right defense that will improve your chances of a lighter sentence or, even better, a dismissal of your charges. Call us!