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Pill Bottle Full of Medical Marijuana

Flagstaff’s Criminal Attorney and Medical Marijuana

Pill Bottle Full of Medical Marijuana

According to the 2012 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act a person with a debilitating disease or condition may qualify for marijuana to treat the issue(s).

Medical Marijuana Law

In 2010, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was passed by voters’ initiative, allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana. The new law allowed a person with a debilitating medical condition to obtain a permit allowing for the legal possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The purpose of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is “to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties and property forfeitures if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.”[i]

Under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act a debilitating medical condition is:

(a) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, crohn’s disease, agitation of alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions.

(b) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

(c) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01.

If a patient qualifies and has a debilitating medical condition they can obtain an identification card, allowing the patient to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes.[ii] The Arizona Medical Marijuana law also protects patients with valid medical marijuana card from being arrested or prosecuted, so long as the person only possesses an allowable amount of marijuana. A usable amount of marijuana is described under A.R.S. § 36-2801(1):

“Allowable amount of marijuana”

(a) With respect to a qualifying patient, the “allowable amount of marijuana” means:

​(i) Two-and-one-half ounces of usable marijuana; and
(ii) If the qualifying patient’s registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the qualifying patient is moving.

(b) With respect to a designated caregiver, the “allowable amount of marijuana” for each patient assisted by the designated caregiver under this chapter means:

​(i) Two-and-one-half ounces of usable marijuana; and
(ii) If the designated caregiver’s registry identification card provides that the designated caregiver is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the designated caregiver is moving.

Furthermore, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Law requires “visiting qualifying patients” that hold an equivalent marijuana card issued in another state, the same protection under Arizona law.

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals Division One found that law enforcement authorities must return seized marijuana to qualifying patients who possess an allowable amount of marijuana as stated by A.R.S. §§ 36-2809-2819. Under Arizona law, it is not a criminal offense for a qualified patient to possess a lawful amount of marijuana and the law mandates that a lawful quantity cannot be seized or forfeited from the patient. Thus, the court found that the “voter-approved statutory mandate that a qualified patient cannot suffer a penalty for possessing an allowable amount of marijuana, we reject the State’s argument that marijuana seized from a qualified patient is subject to summary forfeiture.”[iii]

If you have a valid Arizona Medical Marijuana identification card and arrested for possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia contact the criminal law attorneys of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400. Every criminal case is unique and different, this article should not be used as a substitute the legal advice of an attorney. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime you need to consult an attorney immediately, your rights and freedom could be at stake. Call us at 928-774-5400 or visit our website at www.triallawyersaz.com.

~The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier

Minors with Alcohol in Car

Minor in Consumption or Possession of Alcohol

Minors with Alcohol in Car

Minor consumption of alcohol is a serious offense in the state of Arizona and one that could effect the accused regarding future job placement or educational opportunities.


Given the fact that minors who are charged with alcohol related offenses are ticketed rather than arrested and put in jail, many young offenders fail to recognize how serious the consequences can be for a minor in consumption or minor in possession of alcohol charge. If you, your child, is a minor facing alcohol related charges, it is of utmost importance that you speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney immediately.

Underage Consumption in Arizona: Know the Repercussions

Minor consumption and underage consumption should be taken seriously because it is a crime and a class one misdemeanor. In the State of Arizona it is illegal for any person to possess or have in their system alcohol. Consequences of underage consumption or possession of alcohol can vary depending on the circumstances related to the offense; nonetheless, both legal penalties as well as other non-legal ramifications must be considered if you or someone you know is convicted of a crime.

Legal Penalties for Minor Consumption / Possession

Underage consumption, possession or using a false identity to obtain alcohol can result in the following legal penalties:

  • Alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment;
  • Fines of up to $2,500 plus surcharges and court costs.
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years;
  • A permanent misdemeanor criminal record; and
  • Mandatory community service and/or substance abuse education class.

Additionally, criminal offenses of this sort are likely to carry negative consequences affecting the following areas of life:

  • Employment, both future and current;
  • Student privileges/status- offenses often result in disciplinary action being taken by educational institutions;
  • Acceptance to college and/or other educational opportunities;
  • Government programs; and
  • Scholarships and/or student aid.

If you are NAU/CCC student or a parent of a NAU student that has been arrested for minor consumption, minor in possession of alcohol, or minor driving under the influence of alcohol call the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400. The Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier has dealt with hundreds of alcohol related offenses in courts throughout Northern Arizona and we can assist you in your case. We understand that you are students and offer discounts and easy payment plans for every budget.

If you already plead guilty to the crime of minor consumption, minor in possession of alcohol or minor driving under the influence see our previous blog on motions to set aside here. Call us at 928-774-5400 to discuss your case. Remember each criminal case is unique and this article is not a substitute to consulting an attorney.

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