Arizona Marijuana Laws 2022

Arizona Marijuana Laws and Penalties Updated for 2022

While Arizonans have had more than a year to get used to legalized recreational marijuana laws in the state, many remain unaware of some of the legal changes that have accompanied its legalization. People need to understand the effect of recreational marijuana on various criminal laws and the differences between the laws surrounding recreational vs. medical marijuana.

Even though it is legal for adults 21 and up to possess and consume small amounts of marijuana, people can still be charged with marijuana offenses if they do not follow the laws. 

An experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Shah Law Firm can help you understand these laws and what you should avoid preventing yourself from being charged with a marijuana-related crime in 2022.

How Legalized Recreational Marijuana Laws have Changed in Arizona?

During the 2020 election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, which resulted in the legalization of recreational marijuana. This bill came 10 years after voters passed Proposition 203 in the Nov. 2010 election, which legalized medical marijuana. Like the earlier medical marijuana law, Proposition 207 caused numerous changes to how marijuana possession is treated in the state.

Before recreational marijuana was legalized, people caught with any amount of marijuana under two pounds could be charged with a class 6 felony under ARS 13-3405. However, Proposition 207 created a new chapter in Title 36 of the Arizona Revised Statutes called the Responsible Adult Use of Marijuana.

This chapter includes multiple statutes that govern the recreational use of marijuana, including where it can be used, who can use it, the amounts that people can legally possess, and others.

Under ARS 36-2852, for example, adults ages 21 and older can legally possess up to six plants, five grams of marijuana concentrate, or one ounce of cannabis.

However, if you possess more than the above-listed legal amounts of marijuana, you can still face charges as follows:

  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a first offense – Civil offense with a fine of $100 under ARS 36-2853
  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a second offense – Petty offense that could result in eight hours of mandatory drug education
  • More than one but less than 2.5 ounces as a third offense – Class 1 misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail
The Arizona marijuana laws are different if you are a certified medical marijuana user.

If you are caught with more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana but less than two pounds, you can still face Class 6 felony charges under ARS 13-3405. There are also restrictions on where you can smoke marijuana. Under these new laws, you are technically not allowed to smoke it in open public areas. While Arizonans can now legally grow marijuana plants, you must also follow the restrictions.

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Driving Out of Arizona with Marijuana

Driving with Marijuana Out of Arizona

Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since it was approved by voters in 2010, and voters in the 2020 election also passed Proposition 207 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana among adults in the state in Nov. 2020.

Arizona is now one of 17 states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

While Arizona borders several states that have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, including California, Colorado, and Nevada, it does not mean that you can get on the road to travel out of state with marijuana purchased within Arizona.

More than 203,000 Arizonans are also registered medical cannabis users, comprising a little more than 3% of the state’s population. Even if you have a valid medical marijuana card in Arizona, that does not mean that you will be legally allowed to bring your medicine with you to another state.

Here is some information about the Arizona marijuana laws and traveling with marijuana within the state or out of state from a marijuana DUI lawyer at the Shah Law Firm.

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Arizona Marijuana DUI driving while high

New Arizona Recreational Marijuana DUI Laws in 2022

The DUI statute in Arizona is found at ARS 28-1381. Under this law, there are two different ways that people can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Under 28-1381(A)(1), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or inhalant when you are impaired to the slightest degree.

If you consume marijuana and then drive your vehicle while impaired by it, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI under this law.

Under ARS 28-1381(A)(3), people can be charged with DUIs when they operate motor vehicles with any drug listed in ARS 13-3401 or its metabolite. This subsection is a zero-tolerance law because you can be arrested if you have any amount of a listed drug in your system, even if you are not impaired. Marijuana is one of the listed drugs, along with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs when you do not have a valid prescription.

While marijuana is a listed drug for a DUI charge under ARS 13-1381(A)(3), ARS 36-2852(B) specifically states that a person who has marijuana or its metabolites in their system cannot be convicted of a DUI under this subsection unless they are impaired to the slightest degree.

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Arizona Police use dog to search vehicle

Do Police Need a Search Warrant to Search a Car in AZ?

In Arizona, people are protected against an unlawful vehicle search or seizure by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the Fourth Amendment requires officers to get search warrants before they search your property, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement that allow them to search without a search warrant.

Vehicle searches are treated differently than searches of your home,and police are generally allowed to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles as long as they have probable cause.

Several other exceptions also allow police to search vehicles without warrants, including consent, searches incident to an arrest, inventory searches, plain view searches,and searches based on reasonable suspicion. We’ll take a brief look at each of these exceptions below.

Warrantless Searches Based on Probable Cause

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court established the mobile conveyance exception to the search warrant requirement in Carroll v. United States. In their decision, Supreme Court distinguished vehicles from homes, noting that vehicles can easily be moved away from a traffic stop, and evidence could be destroyed.

As long as police have probable cause, they can search your car without a warrant under the mobile conveyance exception without it being considered an unlawful search.

An officer has probable cause when a reasonably prudent person in the same situation would believe that evidence of a crime is likely located inside of a vehicle. However, only the areas in which the suspected evidence would likely be located can be searched.

For example, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you stole your neighbor’s 60-inch television and that it is likely hidden in your car, he or she can search your vehicle’s trunk. However, the officer would not have probable cause to search your glove box since a television would not fit inside.

If a police officer pulled you over for a minor traffic violation, he or she will generally not have probable cause to support a warrantless search of your vehicle. However, if your conduct following the stop allows the officer to develop probable cause that evidence might be located in your vehicle, he or she can search without a warrant.

Consider this, if you are stopped for speeding, the officer will not be able to search your car based only on that. However, if he or she smells alcohol on your breath, he or she can search your car for open containers of alcohol.

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Arizona Dram Shop Liability Laws

Dram Shop Liability In Arizona ARS 4-311 (D)

According to Arizona Revise Statute (ARS 4-311 (D), any restaurants, bars, nightclubs, saloons, or any other places licensed to serve alcohol — known as dram shops — are liable for serving intoxicated patrons and/or minors under the following conditions:

  • Whether the establishment sold liquor or other spirits to any person who was clearly and obviously intoxicated
  • Whether or not that individual consumed all the alcohol that he or she purchased
  • Whether or not the consumption of the alcohol served by the dram shop was the proximate cause of any injuries, property damage, or other types of damages.

What It Means to Be Intoxicated Under Dram Shop Liability Laws in Arizona

In order for the tenets of ARS 4-311 (D) to be properly upheld, the definition of what it means to be intoxicated has to be legally established. For the purposes of this Arizona Revised Statute, intoxications is when any individual drinking — or ordering drinks at the dram shop — is inebriated to a point where the physical and mental impairment is obvious to those around that individual, including other patrons, bartenders, and servers, due to the fact that the intoxicated person is physically uncoordinated, is showing signs of serious physical dysfunction, and other signs, such as slurring speech.

It is under this definition of intoxication or inebriation that a dram shop could be held liable for any injuries or damages done when that dram shop continues to serve alcohol to the individual displaying these signs and symptoms.
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Hire a Drug Manufacturing Charges Defense Attorney in Tempe, Arizona Today

Violating the regulations that exist regarding the manufacturing, sale, or distribution of controlled substances can lead to drug manufacturing charges which can ruin someone’s life. This type of mark on someone’s record can jeopardize their chances of finding a job and getting a professional license. If you’ve been charged with drug manufacturing charges in or […]

Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Drugs in Arizona

The State of Arizona has passed strict laws that make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume or possess any alcoholic beverages. Even holding an unopened alcoholic beverage if you are minor is illegal and can be considered a misdemeanor. These Minor in Possession (MIP) laws are serious and if convicted, these charges are considered a criminal offense. A minor can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a Minor in Possession and receive jail time and have a permanent criminal record. Contacting an experienced defense attorney can help you determine how to best proceed with your case, and help you understand your rights.

Arizona Minor in Possession Statutes

The Minor in Possession statute in Arizona are as follows:

  • ARS 4-241L : If you have a fake ID and purchase alcohol under the age of 21 in Arizona, you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, revocation of driver’s license for up to six months or 180 days, and jail time of up to six months.
  • ARS 4-241M : If you are under the age of 21 and someone purchases, sells or even gives alcohol to you then you will be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $500, potential loss of driver’s license for 6 months, and possible jail time of up to six months.
  • ARS 4-241N : If you under the age of 21 and use a fake ID to get into a bar or other establishment that requires all patrons to be over the age of 21, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, suspended driver’s license for up to six months, and jail time of up to six months.

Additionally, if a minor consume alcohol in a public place, he or she can be charged with a Minor in Consumption (MIC) ticket that can result in sanctions, one year of probation and community service.

Possible Defense Against a Minor in Possession Charge

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to defend against the charge of underage drinking for either Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption in Arizona. Depending on the facts and circumstances specific to your particular case, an attorney may be able to build a strong case to attempt to request community service or classes, instead of heavy fines or jail time. Additional defenses against Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption can include situations that involve a minor using alcohol for medicinal purposes or religious ceremonies. However, the state of Arizona considers Minor in Possession and Minor in Consumption as serious criminal offenses. These charges should not be taken lightly, as the state of Arizona typically takes a zero-tolerance policy regarding minors involved with alcohol.

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today

If you are facing Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption charges, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights. Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a leading defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Her aggressive representation and client services set our firm apart from the rest. You can discuss your case with us by calling (602) 888-0369 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.

Drug Trafficking Charges Defense in Apache Junction

If you or a loved one are facing drug trafficking charges in Arizona, it’s important to contact our experienced drug trafficking charges defense team. At Shah Law Firm PLLC, we understand all drug trafficking laws in Arizona and can uphold them in all legal proceedings.

Drug trafficking charges are serious and can lead to jail time, hefty fines, and other court requirements. Never go at these charges alone. We can help!

About Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking refers to bringing illegal drugs across a border – national or state. Federal penalties for drugs are designated by different schedules. Sentencing for drug trafficking offenses in Apache Junction can range from three to five years in prison, depending on the amount of drugs and the type of drug involved. If death or serious injury occur as a result of the trafficking, prison terms can range from 20 years to life in prison. This is why hiring a drug trafficking charges defense lawyer is so important. At Shah Law Firm PLLC, we understand all drug trafficking laws and have a track record of success representing individuals facing serious drug charges in Arizona.

Get Help with Drug Trafficking Charges in Arizona

At Shah Law Firm PLLC, our drug trafficking charges defense attorney can help with any drug-related charges in Apache Junction. We know exactly what type of defenses will be most effective for your case, giving you the best chance at lessened penalties and reducing the impact this type of case can have on your future.

We offer no-cost legal consultations for those facing drug trafficking charges. To learn more about our legal services, call our office today at (602) 888-0369. We serve individuals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear, and Apache Junction, Arizona.

How a Mesa Drug Crimes Attorney Can Successfully Represent You

A drug-related crime charge can have damaging implications. Professions who have a license are in danger of losing it, and anyone who runs a business faces a ruined reputation. Having the stigma of a drug crime on your record in and around Mesa can also jeopardize your chances at finding a job in the future. At the Shah Law Firm PLLC of Mesa, we understand the seriousness of a drug crime charge. As such, we use our expertise and resources to create an effective defense for our clients’ drug crime charges.

Arizona Drug Crime Charges

Many actions can be classified as drug crimes in Arizona. Manufacturing, possessing, selling, and distributing illicit substances as well as prescription fraud are all examples of drug crimes in Mesa. At Shah Law Firm PLLC, we have 12 years of experience fighting drug crimes for our Arizona clients, getting them the minimum possible sentencing so they can continue with their life sooner rather than later.

Examples of Drug Crime Defenses

One of the most common defenses for drug crime charges is to prove an illegal search and seizure. Additionally, in many instances, it can be argued that the drugs weren’t yours or were planted by the cops. It’s also possible that you were charged with a drug crime but were forced by someone threatening to harm you to carry the drugs.

At The Shah Law Firm PLLC of Mesa, our years of experience defending those charged with drug-related crimes makes us the leading choice for a drug crimes defense team in Mesa and its surrounding communities.

Call to Schedule a No-Cost Legal Consultation with a Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona Today

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in or around Mesa, call to schedule a no-cost legal consultation with a drug crimes defense attorney in Mesa, Arizona today. At the Shah Law Firm PLLC, we are knowledgeable and skilled and able to create effective drug crime defenses for our clients. To schedule a consultation with our legal team, call us at (602) 888-0369 today.

We serve individuals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear, and Apache Junction, Arizona.

Contact Arja Today to Learn How She Can Help You!

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