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What to Know to Stay in Compliance with Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws

May 24, 2019

In 2010, Arizona passed Proposition 203. This legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state. Even when marijuana is used for medicinal purposes, it’s subject to the strict requirements established by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Patients run the risk of criminal charges unless they remain in strict compliance with the law.

Qualifying Conditions

Only patients with specific medical conditions can qualify to possess medical marijuana. The complete list is available from the Arizona Department of Health Services. It includes the following:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Hepatitis C

If a patient’s medical condition is not listed, he or she is allowed to request that it be added.

Medical Marijuana Cards

Patients must have a written certification from a licensed medical provider with whom they have a doctor/patient relationship. Then, they can submit an application for a registry identification card. As of 2019, the cost of a registry card is $150. Qualifying patients currently receiving SNAP benefits must pay $75.

Marijuana Possession

Qualifying patients are limited as to the amount of marijuana they can possess at any given time. An allowable amount is up to two and a half ounces of usable marijuana. If the patient’s card states that he or she is allowed to cultivate marijuana, the patient may have up to 12 marijuana plants inside an enclosed, locked facility.

Marijuana DUIs

It is unlawful for anyone, including patients with medical marijuana cards, to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Non-approved individuals can be charged with a DUI if the presence of marijuana metabolites is detected in the body. Approved medical marijuana patients are protected from being charged with a DUI on the basis of metabolites alone.

Any type of drug charge can negatively affect your reputation, employment prospects, and even your ability to obtain housing. If you’ve been charged with possession or any other drug charge, contact the criminal defense law office of Janet Altschuler right away. You can reach us in Tucson at (520) 247-1789.