Some states are strict on the use of marijuana. Arizona is one of those states. To make sure that you don’t get into trouble or at least know what you’re getting into, this will be the guide for you. First things first, what is marijuana?
Marijuana is natural plant species and derives from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Now you might think because it is natural it is healthy. That is wrong! Marijuana can cause problems with the development of the brain in young adults. Marijuana is also known as the “gateway drug,” meaning it may lead to harder drug use. Some street names for marijuana include blunt, dope, ganja, grass, herb, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, weed, hash or chronic. So before you decide to start smoking marijuana, you need to know that it can cause slower thinking and has been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
Now that we know about what marijuana is and the effects, what are the rules and regulations in the state of Arizona? If you have less than two pounds, you are looking at a misdemeanor or felony, which carries from six months to 1.5 years of incarceration and fines ranging from $750-$150,000. If you are convicted of possession with intent to sell, you would be looking at a felony charge, 1.5-3 years, and $750-$150,000 in fines. For delivering less than two pounds, you face a felony charge punishable by 2.5-7 years and $750-$150,000 in fines.
Even being caught with paraphernalia can give you the same charges, time and fines as possession of less than two pounds. If you are convicted of personal possession, the court can choose to put you on probation where you may be required to attend drug treatment and take random drug tests. You are allowed to be placed on probation twice. If you are on your third offense, you are not eligible. If you are convicted of possession or sale within 300 feet of a school, or public property within 1,000 feet of any school, or at any bus transportation for pupils, you will receive an additional year to your sentence followed by a minimum fine of $2,000.
Arizona also has what they call a DUID, which is a law against driving while on drugs. The only people that are immune would be medical marijuana patients, which we will talk about below. For your first offense DUID, you would be looking at doing jail time for 10-180 days, drug treatment classes, fines approximately at $1,800, not including jail fees; your license will be suspended for 90 days, probation for up to five years, community service and a possible interlock system in your car. So being high while you drive carries the same penalties as when you are driving while drunk.
Medical marijuana has now come into the picture. In 2010, Arizona passed Proposition 203 with a 50.13% vote. Now although it is legal, there are still some stipulations on the issue. As a patient, you are allowed to have 2.5 ounces for usable purpose and you can have no more than 12 plants only if you live 25 miles or more away from a dispensary. They will also recognize out of state ID cards.
To sum everything up, marijuana really can be good, but when used without it being prescribed, it can have long-term effects on your body. While medical marijuana is legal, simple possession is not. It is as simple as “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!”