Out-of-State MMJ Card Holders Can Use Cannabis in AZ

Visitors to Arizona who have a medical marijuana card can possess and use cannabis in the state.

A three-judge panel in the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the decision citing the voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. According to the Arizona Republic, this provides “visiting qualifying patients” the same immunity as state residents with medical marijuana ID cards. This includes a physician recommendation under California’s Compassionate Use Act.

The ruling centered on a 2016 case in which state police indicted Stanley Kemmish Jr., for one count of possession of narcotic drugs, and one count each of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Kemmish had a California medical marijuana card and argued he was allowed to possess the items because he had a doctor’s recommendation.

The court opinion noted, "Whether another state's medical marijuana law requires an identification card, a physician's letter, or some other documentation is immaterial, so long as the documentation is sufficient under the law of the issuing state."

Though out-of-state medical marijuana card holders can possess and use, they are barred from buying marijuana from Arizona dispensaries.

Since medical marijuana was legalized in 2010, the Arizona program has grown steadily. Last year, Arizonans purchased 1.3 million ounces or about 86,637 pounds. There are currently around 153,000 participating patients.

Though voters failed to pass an adult use legalization initiative in 2016, Arizonans may have a chance to try again. The Arizona Republic reports Rep. Mark Cardenas and Rep. Todd Clodfelter have proposed House Concurrent Resolution 2037. The ballot measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use and grow up to six plants.

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