Sentencing Guidelines for Marijuana Possession in Arizona

As you probably know, the use of marijuana for medical reasons has been approved by Arizona voters. This does not mean that you have free reign to possess the illegal drug, nor does it mean that the state’s laws against possession have become any more lenient.

Ever wonder what you should expect if you’re discovered to be in possession (not for sale) of marijuana by a member of Arizona’s law enforcement? Here’s a breakdown:

Amount –> Severity –> Incarceration –> Fine

  • Less than 2 lbs. –> Misdemeanor or felony –> 6 months – 2 years –> $750 – $150,000
  • 2 lbs. – 4 lbs. –> Felony –> Up to 2 years –> $750 – $150,000
  • 4 lbs. or more –> Felony –> 1 year – 3.75 years –> $750 – $150,000
  • Near school or bus –> Felony –> Additional 1 year –> $2,000 – $150,000

If you’re convicted of personal possession or use of marijuana, you are eligible for probation and the court is required to suspend the imposition or execution of the sentence. While on probation, you must participate in an appropriate drug treatment or education program and may be required to attend a more stringent treatment program and serve one year in jail for a second offense.

If convicted of a third or subsequent offense, you are not eligible for probation. You must also submit to urine drug tests as a condition of your probation. Of course, if you have a medical prescription, and a small amount of marijuana, you are exempt from the above.

If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession without a prescription, contact a criminal attorney who can answer your questions and tell you what to expect in court.

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by T. Jacobs