Arizona’s drug laws carry severe penalties for every offense, ranging from large fines to jail time. Read on for a summary of Arizona’s system of drug laws, including its method of categorizing illegal substances.
The Arizona statutes group illegal substances into three categories: marijuana, dangerous drugs, and narcotics. LSD, hallucinogens, methamphetamines, and ecstasy are examples of the dangerous drug category, while narcotics include cocaine, heroin, and opium. Each of these categories is subject to a different schedule of penalties for drug-related offenses.
In Arizona, prosecutable drug offenses include the following:
- Possession. To charge an individual with possession, a prosecutor must show that the defendant knew the substance in question was an illegal drug and either had it on his or her person or had it in a location that was under his or her control.
- Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute. This charge may result simply from the quantity of drug found, but several other factors also indicate intent to sell. These include a large amount of drug being packaged into smaller amounts as well as the presence of equipment used to measure and package the drug.
- Drug Trafficking. If very large quantities of drugs are involved, drug distribution charges can be changed to drug trafficking charges.
- Cultivation or Manufacturing. Cultivation includes the growing of plants that can be used to derive drugs like marijuana, while manufacture usually refers to drugs that are made in a laboratory setting by combining chemicals. Arizona law is especially hard on anyone accused of manufacturing methamphetamines.
- Drug Transportation. In part because of Arizona’s border with Mexico, the state experiences rampant issues with illegal drug transportation. Such an offense includes personally carrying drugs as well as receiving or sending drugs in other ways, such as through the mail.
Arizona takes all drug offenses seriously, especially if they involve drugs considered to be dangerous or narcotic. If you’re accused of a crime involving drugs, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. To schedule a consultation with an attorney at Blumberg & Associates in Phoenix, call (602) 277-6180 today.