Arizona Prop 207 passed in the state’s November general election. The proposition legalized the possession and use of marijuana in Arizona for people 21 and over. The decriminalization of marijuana has several significant implications for criminal law in Arizona. Lerner and Rowe Law Group is here to tell you what impacts Arizona Prop 207 has made now and in the near future.
What Is Arizona Prop 207?
Arizona Prop 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act, legalizes the adult recreational use of marijuana. It allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce (28g) of marijuana, with no more than 5 grams being marijuana concentrate. It also allows Arizonans to have up to 6 marijuana plants at their home, with up to 12 marijuana plants in households with two or more adults.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) stipulates that for recreational use, “Adults 21 years of age or older may purchase adult-use marijuana from a licensed marijuana establishment. Only licensed marijuana establishments may sell adult-use marijuana.”
The proposition does not negate an Arizona employer’s right to demand a drug-free workplace.
When Does Arizona Prop 207 Go into Effect?
The proposition went into effect on November 30, 2020 after the Arizona general election was certified. However, the ADHS is still in the process of approving marijuana retail stores and delivery services. As of June 30, 2021, 143 retail recreational marijuana licenses have been granted.
What Does This Mean for Arizona Marijuana Users?
Arizona Prop 207 allows Arizonans to use, purchase, possess, and grow marijuana without fear of criminal punishment. If someone has been found guilty of a marijuana crime, Arizona Revised Statute 36-2862 allows for the possibility of having that crime expunged from a permanent record starting July 12, 2021.
Additionally, courts can also:
- Quash any outstanding warrants related to the expunged charges
- Reduce any outstanding monetary obligation balance to zero (including arrearages)
- End any remaining probation sentence related to the expunged charges
- Modify any outstanding payment contracts
- Update the Fines/Fees and Restitution Enforcement (FARE) Program as necessary
If you or someone you know is interested in having a marijuana conviction expunged, the criminal defense attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Law Group can help.
What About Marijuana DUI Charges?
Driving while under the influence of drugs is still a crime in Arizona. However, Arizona Prop 207 changes a few things. The Arizona State Legislature has the right to enact a law that puts a threshold on the active metabolites allowed in the bloodstream, similar to a blood-alcohol-content (BAC) limit. The active metabolites limit would be set in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendations, which are currently being researched.
Certain measures are being made to fight marijuana DUI charges. On June 7, 2021 the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) announced that it has been awarded over $1 million in grant funding from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to combat drug-impaired drivers. The funds will be used to bolster the ability of the Highway Patrol Division and State Crime Lab to handle marijuana DUI offenders.
While the new capabilities of the Highway Patrol Division and State Crime Lab should help keep everyone safer, mistakes will be made. These are new operating procedures, equipment, and technology, and errors could lead to an unjust marijuana DUI charge.
The criminal defense attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Law Group have experience in fighting unfair charges, particularly to medical marijuana card holders. Although retail sales of marijuana are allowed in 2021, adults are still subject to DUI laws. If you are impaired to the slightest degree because of legal marijuana use, it will still be considered a crime.
Contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
As with any new law, the integration and interpretation of Arizona Prop 207 will present new challenges for Arizona residents. There may be confusion about what you can or can’t do, as well as uncertainty about how the new laws affect past marijuana convictions.
The experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Law Group are here to help you, whether you’re interested in pursuing a marijuana conviction expungement or fighting a marijuana DUI charge.
You can contact Lerner and Rowe Law Group 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our representatives are standing by at the phone numbers listed below. You can also reach us through the Internet via LiveChat or by submitting your case information through an encrypted online form. Initial consultations are free and we offer affordable payment options if your case is accepted. Arizona Prop 207 may have introduced a new opportunity for you. Let Lerner and Rowe Law Group help you get a clean slate.