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Marijuana charges are still felonies in Arizona

As we discussed last week, a measure to decriminalize marijuana is going to be coming up for a vote in November. Polls about how the measure vote will go are showing mixed results. Whether or not that measure passes has no impact on people who are facing marijuana charges today because marijuana is still illegal in this state for anyone who doesn't qualify for medical marijuana under the terms of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Marijuana charges in this state are all felony charges right now. At the lowest charge, possession of marijuana under two pounds, you face a Class 6 felony. Even possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a Class 6 felony. These charges come with six months to 18 months in prison with a fine of up to $150,000.

Class 5 felonies, which include possession of two to four pounds of marijuana and cultivation and production of less than two pounds, carry nine months to two years in prison. You also face a fine of up to $150,000.

Class 4 felonies carry 18 months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of four pounds or more of marijuana, two to four pounds of cultivation and production, and less than two pounds of marijuana possession for sale are all Class 4 felonies.

Class 3 felonies, which include cultivation and production or four pounds or more, possession for sale of two to four pounds and sale or delivery for sale of less than two pounds, have fines of up to $150,000. These felonies are also associated with 2.5 years to 7 years in prison.

Class 2 felonies, which carry a prison sentence of 4 to 10 years, are possible for possession for sale of four pounds or more and sale or delivery for sale of two pounds or more. A fine of up to $150,000 is also possible.

If you are facing any of these charges on a state level, you need to explore your options. In some cases, drug diversion programs might be possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Arizona Marijuana Laws," accessed Sep. 19, 2016

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