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Charged with marijuana possession? Take your defense seriously

Views on marijuana use have been changing dramatically in recent years. Scientific research has shown that marijuana use can be beneficial in easing symptoms of medical conditions and jails are overcrowded with people who have been sentenced for drug convictions involving marijuana. The combination of these factors has prompted people across the country to reconsider if and how marijuana laws are effective.

In Arizona, however, the laws are still quite strict. While it is legal to have medical marijuana for qualifying conditions, the repercussions for unlawful possession of marijuana can be severe.

The Marijuana Policy Project has noted that Arizona marijuana laws are among the harshest in the country. Further, MPP argues that enforcing these laws are taking critical attention and resources away from more serious crimes. In fact, the group notes that a whopping 90 percent of marijuana arrests in 2012 were made for possession, but during that same time only a very small fraction of rapes, burglaries and car thefts were solved with an arrest.

What this should show us is that marijuana arrests are both common and pursued aggressively by law enforcement agencies.

In recent years, polls have shown that the percentage of people in favor of legalization falls right around the 50 percent mark. For now, however, it is still unlawful to possess, manufacture and distribute marijuana in this state. People facing even minor charges can be convicted and sentenced to serious consequences including jail time and huge fines.

Even though marijuana laws in other states are becoming more relaxed or state governments have decriminalized the drug, the same cannot be said for Arizona. Any person who has been charged with drug crimes involving marijuana can protect themselves and their futures by working with an attorney to defend against allegations.

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