Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws: Know Your Rights
Arizona State Law Recognizes Certain Conditions
Medicinal Marijuana is used to treat many conditions in Arizona. These include, but are not limited to:
- Severe and Chronic Pain
- Muscle Spasms
- Cancer During All Stages of Treatment
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Symptoms of PTSD
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease During All Stages
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Under proposition 207, cannabis for recreational use has recently become legal in the state of Arizona. As of this point, the state has indicated that the Medical Marijuana Program will continue to exist and can be utilized by patients with debilitating conditions. The choice to keep or renew a medical marijuana registry identification card is up to each individual. There may be some benefits to keeping your medical marijuana identification card, although it is no longer needed to obtain and use marijuana and cannabis products.
We suggest you read FAQs About Recreational Marijuana in Arizona if you’re considering the benefit of obtaining your medical card. And, if you would like to obtain your card in Arizona, you can check out the Arizona Medical Marijuana Card Renewal and Application Process here.
Patients Can Grow Their Own Plants
Medicinal marijuana users can grow and cultivate up to six plants for their own personal medicinal use here in Arizona. This same rule applies for recreational users. Medicinal users no longer need to fill out a form for the Arizona Department of Health Services to see if they are allowed to grow plants. However, this doesn’t make it a free for all! After the Prop207 vote in 2020 legalized recreational use, the law now says individuals can grow up to six marijuana plants at a time, with a household cap at 12 plants for residences with two or more adults.
Arizona residents can purchase seeds online, but keep in mind buying seeds can be a gamble. Only female plants actually flower and there is no guarantee how many female seeds you’ll get in your order. There is news of local nurseries selling cannabis seeds and starter kits for new growers in the future. For the time being, if you’re considering growing your own marijuana we recommend doing in-depth research to avoid the many pitfalls that can come from trying to grow an organic plant in the desert. Start with learning the basics and build from there. It’s all about experience!
Medical Marijuana and Employment in Arizona
While there is some protection for medical marijuana users in Arizona, there are many circumstances when an employer can still fire you for having a positive medical marijuana test result.
Under Arizona Revised Statute Section 36-28132, employers may not discriminate against any employee who has a medical marijuana registry identification card. Furthermore, they may not discriminate against an employee if they test positive for marijuana if they have qualified for the Arizona Marijuana Program.
However, there are some major exceptions to this law. If the employer can have financial consequences or trouble obtaining licenses because an employee tests positive, the employer does not have to keep employing that individual. Furthermore, an employer can fire an employee if they consume cannabis products on the job or are affected by them while performing their duties.
Recreational Marijuana Use In AZ
Recreational marijuana is now legal but, for now, those registered with a medical marijuana card may still have some advantages.
These advantages include:
- The ability to have medical cannabis products brought to them by a designated caregiver. A recreational user cannot have marijuana delivered.
- Under Arizona law, a medical marijuana user may use edibles in a public setting. The medical consumer must keep less than 100 mg on them at all times.
- Licensed dispensaries can only sell up to 1 ounce of marijuana to someone for recreational use. However, someone with a medical marijuana registry identification card can buy up to 2.5 ounces.
- Many dispensaries cater to medical marijuana users by including special hours for medical users only, and other specials. Many dispensaries feel they have a special obligation to provide services to those who need marijuana for its many varieties of medical relief before recreational users.
Marijuana Possession and DUI
The Arizona Supreme Court, in 2015, upheld a prior ruling from 2010, that allowed for any person who was using marijuana for medicinal purposes at the time and was arrested for a marijuana DUI could have their conviction be looked at. The arrested person could use what is known as an affirmative defense. In a case like this, an affirmative defense would demonstrate that the person arrested did not have enough concentration in their body at the time of arrest that would have impaired their ability to drive or operate a vehicle in any way. This would allow medicinal users who were not impaired at the time to defend themselves in court.
Federal Prosecution for Marijuana Use
Although medical (and recreational) marijuana is legal as far as the state of Arizona is concerned, that doesn’t mean that it is legal in the eyes of the federal government. In fact, marijuana and cannabis products containing THC over 0.3% is considered an illegal drug under federal law.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, under the Barack Obama presidency, drafted what is now known as the Cole Memorandum. This memorandum stated that, because the federal government had limited resources, it would deprioritize enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized it. However, under the Donald Trump presidency, Attorney General Jess Sessions rescinded this memorandum, giving federal prosecutors the right to decide to prosecute cases or not.
While many of the current Senate Democrats have stated they would like to legalize marijuana, the position of the Biden administration remains unclear. Therefore, it is important to remember that you could still be prosecuted under federal law for marijuana use.
This is especially important to know if you are traveling, especially outside of the state of Arizona. Federal law can be enforced when crossing state lines. Furthermore, every state has different laws, and in some states it does not matter if you have marijuana for medical or personal use. Unfortunately, in those states, it does not matter that marijuana is needed to treat illnesses; it will still be treated as an illegal drug.
It should also be noted that marijuana should never be possessed or used on federal land. This can open you up to prosecution, and because of the gray areas of federal law, it is not worth the risks.
Possibility of Marijuana Conviction Forgiveness
Starting on July 12, 2021, any person convicted of one of many crimes related to marijuana, including consumption, possession, cultivation, and transportation, can petition a court to expunge the criminal conviction from their record. As this date approaches, it will be interesting to see what develops. Any person wishing to explore their options in terms of expunging records may want to pay close attention to how these new laws are enacted.
A Kind Approach
Whether you choose to maintain your medical marijuana identification card or not, Kind Meds can provide you with all the high-quality products to aide in the relief of medical ailments that marijuana can provide. When it comes to medicinal use, you want to use the most trusted brands made with the highest quality ingredients so you can rest assured you are getting the best treatments and relief out of your product. Kind Meds can provide you with the marijuana products you need to live your best quality of life.