Although Arizona allows adults to have a small quantity of marijuana for personal use, exceeding that limit is still a prosecutable offense. To protect your rights and future, you need an experienced attorney who knows every nuance of the state’s drug laws.
If you were arrested, contact a Chandler marijuana possession lawyer. With years of experience helping people accused of drug crimes, the skilled attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can work to convince a prosecutor to dismiss or reduce your charges.
Recent changes to marijuana possession laws include Proposition 207, which voters passed in 2020. This allows for the legal recreational use of marijuana, although possession with intent to sell is still punished harshly.
Anyone over 21 may grow up to six marijuana plants in a locked area away from public view, and households with two or more adults may grow up to 12. People may harvest the plants for personal recreational use and can give away plants or the product they harvest from them, but they may not sell them. It is still illegal for anyone under 21 to possess any amount of marijuana.
Arizona Revised Statutes §36-2853 makes it a petty offense for an adult to possess or transfer more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Anyone under 21 cannot possess or transfer more than one ounce. A first offense carries a potential $100 fine and attendance at four hours of drug education. A second offense requires eight hours of drug education. A third offense is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which could lead to fines, probation, and up to six months in jail.
Possessing more marijuana than allowed for personal use but less than two pounds is a Class 6 felony. Punishment ranges from 6 months to 1.5 in jail. However, the sentence could be harsher or more lenient depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history and the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors.
If there are indications that the defendant intended to sell the product, such as the presence of scales or baggies, Arizona Revised Statute §13-3405 makes the crime a Class 4 felony. The punishment ranges from 1.5 to three years in prison.
A person possessing more than two but less than four pounds is presumed to be offering the product for sale. However, a Chandler attorney could present evidence indicating that the marijuana is intended for personal use. If the prosecutor or a jury accepts that the defendant possessed the product for personal use, the crime is a Class 5 felony that could lead to nine months to two years in jail.
Possessing between two and four pounds of marijuana intended for sale is a Class 3 felony, which could lead to a prison sentence of 2.5 to seven years. Possessing more than four pounds is possession with intent to sell is a Class 2 felony, and the punishment is four to ten years in prison.
The Chandler attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group will try to get the marijuana possession charges dismissed if possible. Challenging the police procedures, questioning the identification of the substance, and asserting that the defendant did not know that they possessed marijuana could result in charges being dropped.
Although sentences for marijuana possession are harsh in this state, first offenders who possess less than two pounds are eligible for probation and diversion programs. If the prosecutor will not drop charges, our seasoned marijuana possession lawyers could work with them to arrange a sentence that does not involve jail time.
Arizona’s sentencing scheme for drug crimes is complex, making it important to discuss your case and potential penalties with a knowledgeable attorney. A Chandler marijuana possession lawyer can explain everything you need to know about your case and discuss your legal options for protecting your future.
Call Grand Canyon Law Group right away if you are arrested for possessing marijuana. We believe you have a way of life worth protecting—do not hesitate to get the legal representation you need.