AUTHOR: Janet E Jackim
Contact Janet: https://zuberlawler.com/attorneys/janet-e-jackim/
Within certain limits, Arizona confers legal immunity from criminal prosecution for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, and use of “marijuana,” defined broadly, only if such activities are undertaken in compliance with the provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, enacted by citizens’ initiative in 2010: A.R.S. §§ 36-2801 et seq., as amended; and Regulations: 9 A.A.C. 17 (Ariz.Admin.Code §§ R9-17-101 et seq.) (collectively, the “AMMA”); and, as of November 3, 2020, in compliance with the provisions of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, also enacted by citizens’ initiative: A.R.S. §§ 36-28501 et seq.; and Regulations: 9 A.A.C. 18 (Ariz.Admin.Code §§ R9-18-101 et seq.) (collectively, the “Adult Use Act”).
Unlike the AMMA, Arizona’s penal code distinguishes between “cannabis” and “marijuana,” defining the former as the extracted resin of the plant, classifying its manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use as more serious crimes, and imposing higher penalties for doing so. To some extent, the Adult Use Act intends to decriminalize “cannabis” use and possession within certain limits, but this summary does not focus on Arizona’s criminal laws concerning cannabis and marijuana.