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Maricopa County to Begin Dismissing Marijuana Charges Immediately

Arizona Cannabis Laws

With the passage of Proposition 207 (the Smart and Safe Arizona Act) on Nov 3rd, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) stated on Nov 9th that it will go ahead and begin dismissing “all pending and unfiled charges of possession of marijuana” as well as any associated paraphernalia-related charges that are active in their office.

“Instead of continuing to spend resources on these cases, this office will begin implementing the will of the voters immediately,” the MCAO stated.

The MCAO is instructing Deputy County Attorneys to file motions to dismiss any marijuana-related charges that are covered under Prop 207, and if those charges make up the entirety of the charges of the case, the entire case will be dismissed. However, if there are other non-related felony charges then the case will remain pending.

The motions to dismiss “will include all cases pending in Early Disposition Court, those currently in diversion or pending trial, and those set for sentencing or probation violation hearings,” the MCAO noted.

Priority is going to be given to the cases that already have court dates and for those involving people in custody.

The MCAO is also going to file motions to dismiss bench warrant cases where all the charges are covered by Prop 207.

A few laws that Prop 207 will change:

  • Adults 21 and older will be able to possess 1 ounce of marijuana with no more than 5 grams of it being cannabis concentrates (extracts).
  • Possessing more than one ounce but less than 2.5 ounces would be a petty offense.
  • Minors caught with less than one ounce will receive up to a $100 fine and four hours of drug counseling for a first offense. A second offense would be up to a $100 fine and eight hours of drug counseling. A third offense would be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Marijuana use will remain illegal in public places (restaurants, parks, sidewalks, etc). Offenders are guilty of a petty offence.
  • Driving, boating or flying while impaired by marijuana will remain illegal (zero tolerance rule).
  • As of July 12, 2021, anyone convicted previously of possessing under an ounce of marijuana, possessing paraphernalia, or six or fewer plants can petition to have the record(s) expunged.

View Arizona’s new recreational marijuana law.



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