Arizona Court of Appeals Contradicts the Medical Marijuana Act

The Arizona Court of Appeals decided State v. Jones in a questionable 2-1 decision that appears to ignore the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (“AMMA”).   Defendant Rodney Jones was a registered qualifying patient under AMMA allowing him to possess under 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.  Despite having a valid medical marijuana card, he was arrested and charged for possessing a jar containing 0.05 ounces of cannabis.  Considering Mr. Jones was a medical marijuana patient, he was convicted for possession of a narcotic drug and drug paraphernalia.  Mr. Jones was sentenced to 2.5 years of prison–for that 0.05oz jar of marijuana resin.

You can read the full opinion here: http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Div1/2018/CR16-0703%20OP.pdf

Writing for the majority,  Justice Thompson distinguished the resin extracted from the marijuana plant as different from marijuana itself.  This distinction is based on old case law prior to 2015.

Medical marijuana is defined as “all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.”–not excluding resin.  This incredible decision seems to make their own conclusions, ignoring case law,.