Marijuana advocates throughout Arizona are collecting signatures to help a marijuana-legalization measure appear on the November 2016 ballot. Proponents argue that legalizing marijuana could generate an excess of $60 million in tax revenue on a yearly basis, with over $51 million allocated toward K-12 schools. This is all according to an independent study conducted by Grand Canyon Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization located in Phoenix.
While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, passage of this measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and would also allow them to grow up to six plants in their home for their personal recreational use. Even if marijuana is legalized, however, it must be remembered that operating a vehicle while under the influence is still grounds for a DUI.
What are the penalties for drugged driving in Arizona?
As with a standard alcohol-related DUI, drugged driving, including driving under the influence of marijuana, can result in serious penalties. Just because the drug is legal, or even if it is used for legitimate medical reasons does not mean that it is safe to drive while it is in your system.
A first-offense drugged driving conviction in Arizona, without any other aggravating factors, may carry the following penalties:
- 10 to 180 days in jail
- A fine of approximately $1,800, plus jail costs
- License suspension for at least 90 days
- Community service
- Drug counseling and/or treatment
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for 12 months
Other Marijuana-Related Crimes
If this measure does pass, marijuana users must also ensure that they abide by the specifics of the law. Anyone found in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana, or who is caught dealing marijuana, can be charged with a drug offense and will be subject to harsh state and/or federal penalties. Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted and, without experienced criminal defense counsel, could result in a conviction carrying prison sentences, hefty fines, and other reputation-damaging consequences.
Need a lawyer? Knowles Law Firm, PLC may be able to help. Our award-winning criminal defense attorneys are prepared to investigate your case and build a strong defense that could save you from a conviction. To get started with a free initial case evaluation, please contact our firm today at (888) 332-5621.