FAQs

Under the new law (thanks to Prop 207), if you or someone you know was arrested for, charged with, adjudicated, convicted (by trial or plea) or sentenced for any of the offenses listed below which are now legal, you may petition the Court to have that arrest, charge, adjudication, conviction or sentence expunged (completely wipe clean) from their criminal record starting July 12, 2021.  Please contact Tom to find out more about the process.

You may petition for expungement of the following offenses from your record:

  • Possessing, consuming or transporting of 2.5 ounces or less (or 12.5 grams of concentrate) of marijuana;
  • Possessing, transporting, cultivating or processing not more than 6 marijuana plants at that individual’s primary residence for personal use;
  • Possessing, using or transporting paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, processing or consumption of marijuana.

Not fully. Some of the key activities it legalized for adults over the age of 21:

  • Possessing, consuming, purchasing, processing, manufacturing or transporting 1 ounce or less (or 5 grams, if in the form of concentrate);
  • Possessing, transporting, cultivating or processing no more than 6 marijuana plants for personal use at a person’s home (maximum of 12 plants at any one home if 2 or more over-21 adults live there), provided that the plants are grown an enclosed and locked/secured area that prevents minors’ access and which is also not in plain view;
  • Transferring (not selling) of 1 ounce or less (or 5 grams, if in the form of concentrate) or 6 marijuana plants to another over-21 adult as long as the transfer is without payment or compensation and is not publicly advertised;
  • Acquiring, possessing, manufacturing, using, purchasing, selling or transporting paraphernalia that relates to marijuana;
  • Having metabolites or components of marijuana in your system (i.e., metabolites in your system is no longer enough to charge someone with a DUI, instead, the driver must be impaired to the slighted degree); and
  • Mere odor of marijuana or marijuana smoke alone is not evidence of a crime, so law enforcement can no longer use the odor of marijuana or marijuana smoke (by itself) as a reasonable suspicion of a crime (exception: the police office can use odor as reasonable suspicion of a “crime” if he or she is investigating whether you are driving while impaired to the slightest degree).

If you or someone you know was convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for doing marijuana-related activities which are now legal (such as possession of less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana), they may petition the Court to have that conviction expunged (completely wipe clean) from their criminal record starting July 12, 2021.  Please contact Tom to find out more about the process.

Yes, but only if you are driving while “impaired even to the slightest degree.”

Believe it or not, this is actually an improvement from the prior standard for medical marijuana patients because the Courts had interpreted the standard established in AMMA in such a way that it put the burden on a patient who is pulled over for a DUI to prove that they were not impaired (which often required hiring expensive experts), instead of the burden being on the State to prove impairment (which is the way it is supposed to be). The changes to the statute by Prop 207 reaffirmed that impaired even to the slightest degree is the standard for any adult over the age of 21 who has consumed marijuana (including medical marijuana patients) and is pulled over for a DUI.

The phrase “School Zone Enhancement” means that your sentence (if convicted) for the possession or sale of marijuana will automatically be increased because you were arrested or the possession/sale took place within a specified “zone” around any school, as defined by statute.  This “zone” is defined as:
  1. Within 300 feet of a school;
  2. On any public property that is within 1000 feet of any school;
  3. At any school bus stop; or
  4. On any bus transporting students to or from school.
The School Zone Enhancement adds an additional one year to any prison sentence and anyone sentenced to prison with this enhancement is not eligible for early release (i.e., parole). Please see the “What are the legal consequences if I am convicted of a marijuana offense in Arizona?”  FAQ for a summary of the non-enhanced sentences for possession and sale.

Arizona’s marijuana laws, statutes are responsible for needlessly destroying the lives of thousands of Arizonans every year. If you are among the thousands of Arizonans whose lives have been affected by these laws, don’t lose hope.  You do not have to stand alone.  An experienced marijuana lawyer like Tom is ready and able to help.  Please keep in mind, however, that the chart is only a summary of Arizona marijuana laws, and is not legal advice specific for your situation. For additional information about any particular offense, please check out the other FAQs or contact Tom.  

The following chart is a summary of the legal consequences of a conviction in Arizona for various marijuana offenses you may be facing.   Remember, Prop 207 DID NOT legalize the sale of any amount of marijuana by anyone other than a licensed dispensary OR legalize the adult (over 21) possession and use of ALL amounts of marijuana – only adult possession and use of less than 1 ounce was legalized.

Charge Level Sentence (Incarceration) Fine
Possession:*
1 oz to 2.5 oz petty offense Varies Varies
2.5 oz to 2 lbs misdemeanor or felony 6 months – 1.5 years $750 – $150,000
2 lbs to 4 lbs misdemeanor or felony 9 months – 2 years $750 – $150,000
4 lbs or more felony 1.5 – 3 years $750 – $150,000
Near school or bus felony additional 1 year additional $2000
* Eligibility for first and second conviction with drug treatment and testing.
Cultivation/Production:** 
Less than 2 lbs misdemeanor or felony 9 months – 2 years $750 – $150,000
2 lbs to 4 lbs felony 1.5 – 3 years $750 – $150,000
4 lbs or more felony 2.5 – 7 years $750 – $150,000
** Excludes the 6 plants per adult/max of 12 plants per household permitted by statute.
Possession for Sale:
Less than 2 lbs felony 1.5 – 3 years $750 – $150,000
2 lbs to 4 lbs felony 2.5 – 7 years $750 – $150,000
4 lbs or more felony 4 – 10 years $750 – $150,000
Sale or Delivery for Sale:
Less than 2 lbs felony 2.5 – 7 years $750 – $150,000
2 lbs or more felony 4 – 10 years $750 – $150,000
Marijuana DUI:
Impaired to Slightest Degree misdemeanor or felony Varies Varies

Note:  Tom suggests that you print out this summary as well as the summary in the “What should I do when confronted by a police officer?” FAQ and carry them with you for reference if and when you are ever stopped by a police officer.

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If you are confronted by law enforcement personnel and want to invoke your constitutional rights fully, (1) either show this paper to the officer(s) or (2) read the following verbatim:

The following is directed to the law enforcement officer currently in my presence and any other law enforcement personnel that may be involved in questioning, searching, arresting or detaining me or my property in connection with the current contact:

I hereby invoke and refuse to waive all of the rights and privileges afforded to me by the US Constitution, including the following:

  • I invoke and refuse to waive my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Do not ask me any questions.
  • I invoke and refuse to waive my Sixth Amendment right to an attorney of my choice. Do not ask me any questions without my attorney present.
  • I invoke and refuse to waive all privileges and rights pursuant to the case Miranda v. Arizona. Do not ask me any questions or make any comments to me about this decision.
  • I invoke and refuse to waive my Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. I do not consent to any search or seizure of myself, my home, or of any property in my possession. Do not ask me about my ownership interest in any property. I do not consent to this contact with you. If I am not presently under arrest or under investigatory detention, please allow me to leave.
  • Any statement I make or consent I give in response to your questions is made under protest and under duress and in submission to your claim of lawful authority to force me to provide you with information.

First and foremost, it’s important to know your rights.

Note:  Tom suggests that you print out this summary as well as the summary in the “How do I invoke by Constitutional Rights?” FAQ and carry them with you for reference if and when you are ever stopped by a police officer.

No one wants to be confronted by law enforcement, especially if one has something to hide.  In our modern police state, however, it is inevitable that most of us will come into contact with law enforcement now and then.  There are simply so many police officers that it is simple mathematics that it is only a matter of time before you are subject to governmental intrusion.  This may come in the form of a traffic stop, a tax audit or as part of an investigation of someone you know.  There are many possibilities.  If you are not careful during that contact, you may suddenly find your person and property being searched and seized all because you unwittingly waived the very rights that would have protected you from such intrusion.  

If you are confronted by a police officer, remain calm. Be courteous and provide your identification. If you have anything on you or in your house or vehicle that you would rather keep private from the police, politely decline to answer any further questions. The best way to do this is to ask to talk to an attorney before answering further questions. Say something like, “I would be glad to answer your questions, but I have been advised by my attorney to never agree to do so without him present.”  The officer may try to talk you out of it briefly, but the law commands him to immediately cease any questions once you ask to speak to an attorney.  That is the essence of your 6th Amendment right to an attorney and also involves your 5th Amendment right not to incriminate yourself.

Even though you have prevented the officer from questioning you, he may still ask for consent to search you and your property.  Do not agree.  You need to protect your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizuresDo not consent to any search of your person, your property, your residence or your vehicle.

Remember, if the officer fails to honor your rights, remain calm and polite, ask for the officer’s identifying information and ask him or her to note your objection in the report. Never attempt to physically resist an unlawful arrest, search or seizure. If necessary, you may point out the violations to a judge at a later time.  The judge will order that any evidence discovered must be suppressed from evidence at trial.

To summarize, when confronted by the police for any reason:

  1. Remain calm and be courteous;
  2. Be confident knowing that you have the following rights: a) the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures; b) the 5th Amendment right to not incriminate yourself; and c) the 6th Amendment right to an attorney;
  3. Feel free to invoke your right to only answer questions with an attorney present (6th Amendment) to avoid inadvertently incriminating yourself (5th Amendment);
  4. Do not consent to any search of your person, your property, your residence or your vehicle (4th Amendment).
  5. If the officer fails to honor your rights, still remain calm and polite, and ask him or her to note your objections in the report; and
  6. Never attempt to physically resist an unlawful arrest, search or seizure.

Yes. In fact, thousands of people face “marijuana DUI” charges in Arizona and other states every single year. The legal standard is “impaired to the slighted degree.” Even though there is no universally recognized medical standard for determining marijuana-based impairment – and many people dispute whether “impaired driving” happens at all for marijuana users – it can be a misdemeanor or even a felony. See FAQs “What are the consequences for violating Arizona’s marijuana laws?” and “Can I get a DUI if I am a Medical Marijuana Patient?

Remarkably, you may be charged with intent to sell while possessing or transporting virtually any amount of marijuana. Circumstances of which you are not even aware, such as the location of a school or even a school bus, may substantially increase the possible charges, penalties, and fines you are subject to. To learn more, visit other FAQs for a summary of consequences for violating marijuana laws in Arizona.

Yes, you can, but it depends on the circumstances.

In Arizona, medical marijuana is legal and, as of December 2020, so is adult (over 21) possession of one ounce or less (except for concentrates, which cannot exceed 5 grams) of marijuana or possession of 6 plants per adult (maximum of 12 per household, as long as the plants are not visible and are locked up).

Other than these exceptions, however, there are still archaic laws in place that punish possession of marijuana above and beyond the permitted amounts under various circumstances. Even the possession of a small amount of marijuana can sometimes be construed as a felony with a fine of up to $150,000. To find out more about Arizona’s existing marijuana laws, including the new laws, see other FAQs for more information about marijuana laws in Arizona.

Tom Dean has been a passionate advocate for responsible drug law reform from early in his career. He has seen firsthand how today’s harsh drug laws affect the lives of innocent Arizonans. As a result, he is familiar with drug laws pertaining to all categories of banned or “illicit” drugs.

No matter what kind of drugs your case involves, you can rest assured Tom Dean is an expert who understands your situation. Contact Tom even if your case does not involve marijuana.

Although Tom Dean is a lawyer based in Phoenix, and licensed to practice law in Arizona and Ohio, he has traveled throughout the United States to represent people charged with drug-related offenses. Tom is well-known for cases where marijuana plays a principal role. He is deeply familiar with marijuana laws and restrictions throughout the country.

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