Marijuana Lawyers Seek Reversal of Arizona Cannabis Conviction
Arizona marijuana attorneys are asking the state supreme court to side with their argument that the state’s medical marijuana law makes no distinction between cannabis edibles, liquids, dried flowers or leaves. The appeal follows a decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which upheld the marijuana possession conviction of a man found with 0.05 ounces of hashish, for which he was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison (for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia). Defendant had obtained the hashish (cannabis plant resin) and jar from a legal dispensary in Maricopa County.
The state allows regulated dispensaries to distribute medical edibles and liquids to be sold for medical use. The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allowing one to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana twice a month, something more than 174,000 people qualify. Defendant’s attorneys are arguing that the active medicinal ingredient in the plant is the resin, and that the law doesn’t expressly exclude certain parts of the plant. There is no provision that says only the flower or only the leaves are allowed. The law defines marijuana broadly to include all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plants.
In State v. Jones, both sides disagreed as to whether hashish was included within the immunities of AMMA. Citing a previous state supreme court case from the late 1970s, the appeals court noted the legislature recognizes marijuana and hashish as two distinct forms of cannabis, and that the differing forms of treatment between marijuana and hashish have to do with its potency and rendering it susceptible to “serious and extensive abuse.” The state’s medical marijuana law makes no mention of hashish one way or another. Continue reading