Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws
In 2010 Arizona voters approved a proposition, Proposition 203, to legalize the use of medical Marijuana under the ambit of Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The act permits state-licensed doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to Arizona residents who have at least one debilitating condition.
Qualifications of a Medical Marijuana Patient
The law sets out strict criteria for one to qualify as a medical marijuana patient, and that includes being at least 18 years old, possessing a valid ID issued by the government, possess an Arizona residential address, possess a past year’s medical records, and suffer from at least one debilitating condition. The qualifying conditions include cancer, glaucoma,
severe and chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, severe nausea, severe and chronic pain, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Get a Medical Marijuana Card
After meeting the set criteria, you’ll need to acquire a medical marijuana card, also known as a Physician Certification Form. You’ll need to pay $150 to receive the card besides the cost of a doctor visit. Upon the doctor submitting your application to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS),( which is the department tasked with regulating the Medical Marijuana Act) they will process the card within five business days and mail it to you.
You will need to keep renewing the card each year.
An out of state medical marijuana card can entitle you to use and possess marijuana in Arizona. The only setback is that the card won’t enable you to get marijuana from a dispensary in Arizona. Moreover, it doesn’t matter how much marijuana you are allowed to possess in your home state – you can only have and use no more than 2.5 ounces of it while you are still in Arizona.
Sources of Medical Marijuana
You may buy the marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries in Arizona or cultivate your own. You ought to have the green light from the Arizona Department of Health Services to cultivate your own marijuana. The department can give you the go-ahead if you reside more than 25 miles from a state-licensed dispensary, in which case you’ll be allowed to cultivate a maximum of 12 marijuana plants.
It is noteworthy that the law permits you to possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana every fortnight. In addition, you cannot smoke marijuana in public places such as parks and schools unless it is in edible form.
Cultivation of Medical Marijuana
Arizona law limits the number of marijuana plants eligible persons can grow. It caps the number at twelve, and only if the patient doesn’t have a medical marijuana dispensary within 25 miles of their homes. The law requires the plants to be grown in a locked and enclosed facility defined as a room, greenhouse, closet, or any other enclosed area that only the cardholder can access. Furthermore, before you embark on the cultivation of the plants, the ADHS has to first designate you as a cultivator.
Besides patients, ADHS-designated caregivers can also plant and distribute medical marijuana to up to five patients. In order to be designated as a caregiver, you’ll need to first be at least 21 years old and have no records of drug felonies.
Consumption of Medical Marijuana
As already stated, only persons with qualifying conditions and a valid medical marijuana card are permitted to consume marijuana legally, and they have to do it privately. The law prohibits consumption in public places except if the marijuana is in an edible form – and even so if you are not operating a vehicle or machinery or doing any other thing for which you may be charged with negligence in case you are high.
The law makes it illegal to drive or control a vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or when any drug or its metabolites is found in the body. People registered to use medical marijuana are exempted from prosecution even if marijuana traces or its metabolites are found in their systems while they are driving. Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor if it is the first offense, and it is punishable by license suspension, jail time, probation, or fines.
Recreational Use of Marijuana in Arizona
Presently, Arizonians can only use marijuana medically. It is an offense to use the drug recreationally. In November 2016 a proposition 205 was fronted to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults, the proposition failed narrowly – 48-52. That ill-fated proposition would have permitted adults who are 21 years or older to possess certain amounts of marijuana at any particular time, be subject to a government-regulated system just like alcohol, and be subjected to a fifteen percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana.