Pot Cases in Mohave County Dismissed 'Cause of Out-of-State Medical-Weed Cards

Categories: Medical Weed

 

mcweed poster 1.jpg
​Proposition 203 has sparked dismissal of pot-possession charges in Mohave County against at least 10 people who had out-of-state medical-weed cards.

Though the charges shouldn't have been brought against such marijuana card-holders in the first place, what's been happening in northwestern Arizona is a definite sign that "the times they are a changin'."

More than 10 possession cases have been dismissed in Mohave County in recent weeks because of Arizona's medical-marijuana law, Deputy County Attorney Regina Paulose tells New Times. All of the defendants were able to prove that they could legally use medical marijuana in their home state, typically California.

Under Arizona law, patients with pot cards from other states can legally possess up to 2 1/2 ounces marijuana in Arizona, though they won't be able to buy products from the dispensaries that'll be open in a few months. Final rules for the Arizona program were published today, by the way. 

Not all of the cases have involved out-of-state residents, either, says Paulose. A few have been Arizonans who either recently moved to the state, or lived in Arizona but had a legal residence in California that allowed them obtain approval for medical marijuana.

One recent case involved Gregory Allen Williams of California, who was stopped by a deputy sheriff on Christmas day for a burned-out license-plate light. The deputy told the driver he thought he smelled weed and asked him if he had drugs in the car. Williams said yes -- and was arrested after he gave the deputy a zip-lock bag containing some pot and a pipe.

After he was charged, though, Williams argued, with the help of Flagstaff attorney Thomas Dean, that he was perfectly within his rights to possess marijuana in Arizona.

The County Attorney's office agreed. Two weeks ago, after showing documentation that proved he was a legal possessor in California, Williams' case was dismissed. 

Dean, the attorney, explains that Williams was approved in California on the basis of his chronic pain -- an ailment that also can qualify Arizona residents for medical pot.

"We had a letter from his California doctor," Dean says.

But not all maladies that qualify a patient to use marijuana in California are accepted as legit in Arizona.

For example, California law allows people who have insomnia or anxiety to qualify for medical pot. Arizona's law doesn't recognize insomnia or anxiety as qualifying ailments, so those patients would still be at risk for prosecution in Arizona. Even if the out-of-state cardholders' ailments are also approved in Arizona, Dean suggests that patients always carry their paperwork in case they get stopped.

The basis for the recommendation should be for the treatment of ailments approved in Prop 203, he says.

We asked Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, if his agency has seen any cases like these. He'll get back to us, he says.

Soon, plenty of Arizonans will have their own get-of-jail-free cards -- and cops will stop wasting their time arresting patients.


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19 comments
Tom Dean
Tom Dean

Here is how it works guys: In order for an out-of-state patient to assert the above affirmative defense, he must show that he is a VISITING QUALIFYING PATIENT as defined by 36-2801(17):

"Visiting Qualifying Patient" means a person:

(a)who is not a resident of Arizona or who has been a resident of Arizona less than thirty days.

(b)who has been diagnosed with a DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION by a person who is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs to humans in the state of the person's residence or, in the case of a person who has been a resident of Arizona less than thirty days, the state of the person's former residence.

A "Debilitating Medical Condition" is defined by 36-2801(3) as follows:

(a)cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis c, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, crohn's disease, agitation of alzheimer's disease or the treatment of these conditions.

(b)a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

(c)any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01.

Tom Deanwww.ArizonaMarijuanaLaw.com

Peyote Eater
Peyote Eater

im glad the cops are not hip to my secret peyote cutting ground. I been cutting Arizona grown natural peyote in the same desert place since 1976. i even know of a secret Arizona moonshine still. cops in Arizona dont ever think of peyote and moonshine. better for me bad for them. LOL you can have your silly medical pot. big deal. peyote is 100 times better and its free if your smart enough to know where to look in Arizona.

J Curwen
J Curwen

So it begins: the wall shows its first cracks. It's about damned time.

Drugssuck
Drugssuck

What he should have been arrested for is carrying dope without his card, and for driving while under the influence of dope. The DUI would have stuck, and the cop could have proven that easily. He smelled it, the defendant coughed it up, so it was used recently....then the fool drove around stoned. Nice.

Yeah, all you druggie potheads out there, make sure you carry your stash with you nwherever you go, smoke it in the car, bounce around town stoned and driving......see how far that gets you.

The law needs to be adjusted to be similar to that of Amsterdam. Keep the dope at home, smoke it at home only. Not to be carried in public other than from your drug dealer, and you can only use it at home. Fuck, cant you druggies do anything right?

Joe Miller
Joe Miller

Excuse me, that should have read "prop 203".

Joe Miller
Joe Miller

Prop 202 requires that Arizona recognize the medical marijuana recommendations of visiting out-of-state patients regardless of the medical condition for which the patient received the recommendation- as long as the recomendation is legit in the state issued Arizona must recognize it.

Jim
Jim

You tard. Nobody will give you the attention you cry for on every article. Go home.

AZCS
AZCS

Your not to keen on the actual law are ya? There is no metabolite concentration testing potential for MMJ that will hold water in a court of law so your theory for driving drugged just went in the trash can. A $50 an hour lawyer could beat that with 2 hrs of effort.Second just because you can smell it does not mean it was just used, in fact most medical grade marijuana is easily detectable by scent hence the reason the person admitting to having it. Third, Amsterdam, smoke it at home? Your allowed up to 5 grams per visit to any HASH BAR in Amsterdam and there are over 100 to visit, do the math. Smoke at home in Amsterdam, lol, YOU MUST BE REALLY HIGH!

Rgent
Rgent

You're as obvious and stupid as a pot head driving around stoned....dumb fuck! Go drink your booze and take a nap, sounds like you need one.

Albert
Albert

Really??? Are they really trying to say that other states medical marijuana id cards have to match our states aliments? This person needs to read that section over again, and again relating to other states MM ID cards. Good point Joe!

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