New Marijuana Law

Tempe Lawyers for Representation Under the New Marijuana Law

You be worried about an arrest or charges brought against you by Arizona prosecutors. It is terrifying to face the criminal justice system. However, there have been significant changes to marijuana laws over the last decade. Medical marijuana was made lawful in Arizona years ago. In 2020, voters have passed a marijuana bill that decriminalizes certain activities related to marijuana. How the court applies the new marijuana law remains to be seen. You should hire seasoned Tempe drug crimes lawyer James E. Novak. Mr. Novak has worked for the other side. He understands the strategies prosecutors use and how the court looks at criminal charges related to marijuana and what defense strategies are likely to work in different situations. He keeps up with the law and could build the strongest available defense in your case.

New Marijuana Law

A new marijuana law passed in 2020. This law, Arizona Revised Statute section 36-2852, covers allowable possession and personal use of marijuana, along with marijuana products and paraphernalia. It specifies that certain acts related to marijuana that were previously against the law should not be subject to criminal prosecution or form a basis for searches by law enforcement. It provides that you if you’re at least 21 and you are caught with an ounce or less of marijuana, prosecutors should not pursue charges for:

  • Possession
  • Purchase
  • Consumption
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing by manual or mechanical means
  • Processing.

Manufacturing by manual or mechanical means includes ice water separation and sieving. However, chemical extraction or chemical synthesis remain criminalized.

If you are 21 or older, Tempe law enforcement officers can’t use any of the foregoing activities as the basis for seizing assets, penalizing you, or searching or arresting you. For example, if the police are investigating you for an assault, they cannot use your possession of a single joint as the basis for drug penalties.

Cultivation of Six Plants for Personal Use in Arizona

Additionally, the new law allows you to grow, possess, transport or process a certain number of marijuana plants for your own personal use in Tempe. Under the new law, if you have six or less marijuana plants for personal use at your primary home, prosecutors cannot charge you so long as you follow certain strictures: (1) you aren’t producing more than 12 plants at one residence where two or more people who are at least 21 years old live at a single time, (2) you’re cultivating within a room, closet, greenhouse or another enclosed space and this area is equipped with a lock or other security measure to keep kids from getting in, (3) you’re cultivating in a space where a member of the public couldn’t see them without optical aids.

Additionally, assuming you aren’t paid and you’re not promoting or advertising a marijuana transfer, you shouldn’t face criminal charges for transferring less than an ounce of marijuana to somebody who is at least 21. For example, you shouldn’t be charged with marijuana sales if you are at a college party and hand a 22-year-old a bowl of marijuana to smoke.

Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity

If they detain you, the police need to be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. They can’t stop you merely on a hunch. If they do, our lawyer may be able to bring a motion to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. It’s important to note that the new law also has features that are critical to defending you on criminal charges, even when the charge is not related to less than ounce of marijuana. It specifies that law enforcement officers can’t point to the odor of marijuana, whether burning or otherwise, as a reasonable, articulable suspicion of a crime.

There is an exception to this general rule for a police officer’s investigation of a DUI.

Retain a Seasoned Marijuana Defense Attorney in Maricopa County

The new marijuana law may apply to charges you face in Arizona. You should hire an aggressive defense firm. Experienced Tempe drug crimes lawyer James E. Novak may be able to help. He represents the accused in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.