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July 26, 2017

Understanding Medical Marijuana Laws in Arizona

Filed under: Drugs & Narcotics — admin @ 11:00 am

Prescription MarijuanaThe subject of medical marijuana in Arizona is controversial. Regardless of personal opinions, it is important to understand the laws regarding medical marijuana in your state. There is a lot of misinformation, myths and confusion regarding the exact laws surrounding marijuana use in Arizona. The Phoenix drug lawyers at The Blumenreich Law Firm are here to help clarify Arizona’s laws on the subject to help you avoid potential legal trouble.

While it is legal to utilize marijuana for medicinal purposes, it has not been legalized for recreational use in Arizona. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was passed by Arizona voters in 2010. However, voters rejected Proposition 205, which aimed to make recreational use legal for those 21 and older, in November of 2016. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, more than 120,000 Arizona residents hold medical marijuana cards as of January 2017.

In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of Arizona, patients must apply for one and see a doctor. Upon examination, the doctor will determine if the patient has a medical condition that qualifies for marijuana treatment. The most commonly cited condition is severe and chronic pain, followed by cancer and then post-traumatic stress disorder.

A medical marijuana card is not a golden ticket. While it is illegal for an employer to use cardholder status or positive drug test results (for marijuana presence, at least) as grounds for adverse action, a patient can still be fired if he or she is under the influence or in possession of marijuana while at the workplace. Furthermore, Arizona’s medical marijuana laws do not grant drivers immunity from prosecution in DUI cases. Cardholders accused of driving under the influence can undergo cross-examination of prosecution witnesses or providing evidence and testimony to prove that there was not enough marijuana compound in their system to cause impairment at the time. This is because the metabolites can remain in the body, causing a person to test positive, long after they are no longer impaired.

It is also important to understand that the odor of marijuana is still probable cause for police officers to search a premises or vehicle, according to the Arizona Supreme Court ruling of 2016. A 2012 revision of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, known as the “campus-ban statute,” made it illegal to possess or smoke marijuana on college campuses, despite legal medicinal use. It is also prohibited to smoke it in public places, including on public transportation, and cardholders cannot bring marijuana into a correctional facility, onto preschool, primary school or high school grounds, or onto a school bus.

This is just a quick rundown of medical marijuana laws in Arizona, but it should give you a basic idea of what is legal and what you should avoid. If you do get into trouble, make sure you have Phoenix drug lawyer Josh Blumenreich on your side to protect your rights and fight for your case with an aggressive defense. Contact our offices today for a FREE case evaluation!

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