Updated on April 30, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Arizona’s medical cannabis program started in 2011. The state allows patients suffering from one or more of a range of medical issues to obtain as much as 2.5 ounces of weed over a two-week period.
However, marijuana for recreational use remains illegal, and people who violate the law run the risk of being subjected to stiff punishment. Below is some information on the medical marijuana penalties in Arizona, as well as the punishments people face if they use cannabis illegally.
Under Arizona law, patients suffering from conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable weed.
Patients or their caregivers are allowed to grow as many as 12 marijuana plants, provided those plants are in an enclosed, secured facility and the patient lives 25 miles or more from the closest dispensary. State-licensed dispensaries are operational in Arizona.
Arizona also has a limited reciprocity program. This means that qualifying patients can possess marijuana if they suffer from a qualifying condition and have a medical marijuana registration card — or an equivalent card or document — from another state. However, visiting patients are not allowed to purchase medical cannabis in the state.
Arizona medical marijuana law requires that caregivers be at least 21 years old and have not been convicted of a felony offense. Caregivers can serve no more than five medical cannabis patients. They are not required to provide professional caregiving services, such as assisting in home health.
Arizona marijuana penalties can be harsh. People who are not qualifying patients under the state program could face anywhere from six months to more than three years in jail and fines of as much as $150,000 for using marijuana.
Possession of four pounds or more of weed carries a sentence of one year to 3.75 years in prison, as well as a maximum fine of $150,000. If someone is convicted of attempting to sell less than two pounds of cannabis, he or she will be sentenced to anywhere from one to 3.75 years in jail and a fine of as much as $150,000.
Illegal cultivation of less than two pounds of pot is considered a felony. Punishments range from six months to 2.5 years in jail and a maximum fine of $150,000.
Arizona allows for the possibility of probation along with community service as an alternative to prison time for some offenses.
When you visit MarijuanaDoctors.com, you’ll find details about Arizona marijuana laws. You can also search our database to find qualified doctors who can recommend you for medical cannabis if you suffer from one of the approved conditions.