In the November 2020 general election Arizona voters passed Proposition 207 which legalized the possession of marijuana. Certain provisions in this law go into effect immediately while others do not start till mid-2021.
Prop 207 allows adults who are at least 21 years of age to be able to possess marijuana. It allows those individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their residence as long as those plants are within a lockable, enclosed area and beyond public view. While the new law allows for individuals to possess marijuana, it does not allow for public smoking of marijuana.
Another important aspect of this law is that it allows for people to expunge portions of their criminal record. This is a significant change in the law because Arizona previously did not allow for expungement one’s criminal record. The new law allows for individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes related to possession, consumption, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana to petition the court to expunge their criminal record. This provision of the law goes into effect starting July 12, 2021.
The expungement provision of the law will have a significant impact on criminal defendants. In Arizona potential penalties for criminal offenses are enhance based on past criminal convictions. This can lead to defendants facing significant criminal penalties for new charges simply because they have possession of marijuana charges on their background. Under these new provisions this would allow defendant to expunge their record related to drug offenses which would significantly lower their potential exposure on the new case. This news I will have a dramatic impact on how cases are handled in the criminal justice system and the potential penalties that someone faces for future offenses.
Currently prosecutors are moving to dismiss personal possession of marijuana charges. This means the individuals are no longer charged and cannot be charged in the future for marijuana possession. While personal possession cases are being dismissed, it is important to note that this law does not allow individuals to drive with marijuana in their system. Therefore someone can still be charged with a DUI if they have marijuana in their system even though possessing the marijuana is legal.
If you or anybody that you know needs help in expunging their record or has questions about how this new law will impact them please do not hesitate to give my office a call at 480-331-7568 I would be glad to help them out, help clear up their records, and make sure that their rights are protected.Back to Blogs