This article was originally published on The Cannabis Community and appears here with permission.
Whether you’re new to the state of Arizona or new to medical cannabis, it’s smart of you to check out the legality of a medicine you’re considering consuming. After all, in an ideal world, you should be able to openly discuss with your doctor any and all medications you are consuming in order to mitigate any potential negative drug interactions.
So does Arizona have medical cannabis? What about adult-use cannabis? How do you get your hands on it and what do you need to know about the relevant laws?
Medical cannabis has been legal in Arizona since 2010, when voters supported Proposition 203, which established the Arizona Medical Marijuana Statute Act (AMMA). The Act entrusts the regulation of medical marijuana to the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS).
Proposition 203 allows a qualifying patient with a debilitating medical condition to obtain a certain amount of marijuana from a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary, possess the marijuana, and use it to treat or alleviate the debilitating medical condition or the symptoms associated with the condition.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) is required to establish and enforce a regulatory system for medical marijuana distribution, including a system for approving, renewing, and revoking the registration of qualifying patients, designated caregivers, and nonprofit dispensaries, and dispensary agents. The regulatory system’s costs should be covered by application and renewal fees, civil penalties, and private donations obtained as a result of this proposal.
Patients must have valid, unexpired medical marijuana cards before they may use marijuana for medical purposes rather than recreationally.
Recreational marijuana was also legalized in Arizona in 2020 when voters approved Proposition 207, also known as the “Smart and Safe Arizona Act.”
Under Arizona’s new recreational use regulations, it is still unlawful for anybody under the age of 21 to possess or consume marijuana. Distributing marijuana to a juvenile is likewise prohibited, just as giving alcohol to someone under the age of 21 is.
Recreational users can also legally possess 1 ounce (about 28.35 grams) of marijuana. Five grams from that 1 ounce can be marijuana concentrate, which is resin taken from the marijuana plant, such as THC concentrate in the form of wax or oil for use in a vape pen.
This new law does not restrict your employer’s responsibility to keep your workplace drug- and alcohol-free. An employer, just like with alcohol, might forbid you from consuming marijuana at work. This also makes no changes to Arizona’s DUI statutes. However, the prosecution must prove that you were driving impaired for having THC in your system to be convicted of a DUI. The use of marijuana in “a public place or open area” is prohibited under Arizona’s recreational marijuana law, so be cautious where you consume marijuana. It’s not a good idea to do it in public, near a school, or while driving.
Arizona has different laws and …