W. Michael Walz, P.C. - Pot Lawyer - Phoenix, AZ
W. Michael Walz, P.C. - Pot Lawyer - Phoenix, AZ

Possession, Sales, Cultivation

Possession or Use of Marijuana ARS 13-3405 Class 6 felony or Class 1 misdemeanor

While most people are charged with possession of marijuana, using marijuana is also a crime unless the user is a medical patient registered as such with the State of Arizona. The crime is usually charged as a felony in Maricopa County but often as a misdemeanor in other parts of the State. Traditionally it was required that the amount of marijuana be at a minimum “a usable quantity.” Years ago one of my jury trials resulted in dismissal because the quantity found in the ashtray of a vehicle was determined to not be “a usable quantity.” Recent Court decisions suggest that a quantity sufficiently large that a person could know that it was marijuana is enough to secure a conviction. Most other lawyers are unaware that certain parts of the Cannabis sativa (or indicia) are not marijuana. For example neither the “mature stalks” nor “seeds incapable of germination” are considered marijuana under Arizona law ARS 13-3401.

Drug Paraphernalia ARS 13-3412

Much like possession of marijuana above, drug paraphernalia can be charged either as a Class 6 felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor. In Maricopa County if the paraphernalia is with marijuana, they are both charged as Class 6 felonies. If the drug paraphernalia is not with drugs, it is charged as a misdemeanor and heard in Municipal or Justice Court.

Under Arizona law, drug paraphernalia includes any physical object that assists the users to either use, grow or store marijuana. Many prosecutors abuse this law and charge such things as a women’s handbag as drug paraphernalia because the woman keeps her marijuana in her handbag.

Most other lawyers do not realize that in order for an object to be drug paraphernalia the person must intend to use the object in the future to commit a drug offense. For example a “ceremonial bong” designed specifically to smoke pot would not be drug paraphernalia under Arizona law unless the person intended to use it in the future to violate drug laws. If you are a registered medical marijuana patient you are not subject to prosecution for drug paraphernalia if you are using items in conjunction with your legal medical use of marijuana.

Sale of Marijuana and Possession for Sale of Marijuana is a Class 2, 3 or 4 felony depending on weight.