Very recently, an Arizona court issued an important written opinion that has big ramifications for people who are charged with hashish possession in the state. Many of the people we represent who have been charged with hashish possession have questions about whether they are protected under Arizona’s new medical marijuana statute. Under this ruling, it appears that Arizona’s medical marijuana statute does not allow for hashish possession. Read on to learn more about how this ruling applies to you.
What Happened in This Case?
In this case, the defendant was able to use marijuana for medicinal reasons. In 2013, he was found in possession of .05 ounces of hashish oil. He sought dismissal of the charges because of his status as a “qualifying patient,” meaning that was able to use marijuana medically. The court rejected his motion to dismiss his case and the case went to trial, where he was found guilty and sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for the hashish possession. The defendant then appealed his conviction and raised the same argument about his being a “qualifying patient” in trial, but that court upheld his conviction as well.
In upholding his conviction, the court discussed whether hashish was intended to be covered by the law allowing for medicinal use of marijuana. Under the relevant law, marijuana is defined as “the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant.” While the defendant claimed that hashish was a preparation of the marijuana plant, the prosecution argued that hashish was not within this definition given that it is “merely the separation of one part of the plant from another.”
Ultimately, the court agreed with the prosecution, and noted that the relevant law does not mention hashish. The court then said that if the legislature had meant for hashish to be included in the law it would have specifically mentioned hashish within it, and since it does not then the law does not cover hashish possession for medicinal purposes.
What Does This Law Mean For Me?
If you have been arrested for hashish possession that you use for medicinal purposes, this ruling means that you are not protected by Arizona’s medicinal marijuana laws. In short, it means that possession of hashish for any reason is still viewed as criminal and that you can face big penalties if law enforcement finds you in possession of this substance. These penalties can be financial or they can also involve jail time. Moreover, a drug conviction also carries with it significant social stigma, and it can also impact your employment prospects in the future.
Arrested and Charged With Drug Possession?
If you have been arrested for or charged with possession of hashish or any other drug in Arizona, your first call should be to Blischak Law. The state of Arizona treats drug charges very seriously and aggressively prosecutes them, meaning you truly cannot afford to not have quality representation. We have years of experience successfully defending clients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Glenndale areas, and are always one phone call away. Protect your rights: contact Blischak Law today.
Posted in: Drug Offenses